Arlington County Approves $23M Incentive Package for Amazon

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Four months after Amazon announced its new headquarters in Northern Virginia, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved an incentive package that would provide the tech behemoth with up to $23 million over 15 years, according to a press release from Chevy Chase, Md.-based JBG Smith, which is partnering to house and develop Amazon’s new offices in Crystal City and Pentagon City.

“This board, and senior county staff, have spent months in intense discussion with our community about what Amazon’s arrival in Crystal City and Pentagon City will mean for Arlington. Our vote today reflects our strong belief that Amazon will bring significant benefits to our community, to neighboring Alexandria, the region and the state,” Christian Dorsey, the chair of the Arlington County Board Chair, said in a prepared statement.

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Dorsey and four other board members voted on Saturday after hearing six hours of testimony and getting yelled at by a man who was eventually removed from the room by police, according to the Washington Business Journal.

The county will pay Amazon from a portion of the increase in hotel tax revenues, which officials anticipate from Amazon’s arrival, according to the release, which indicates that the county is projected to receive a 14-to-1 return on investment. Amazon’s receipt of the money is contingent on its creation of at least 25,000 jobs with an average salary of $150,000 and its occupying six million square feet of office space in Arlington County by 2035.

In January, the Virginia General Assembly approved another $750 million in performance-related incentives for Amazon. The tech company has now secured all of the government incentives that were pledged when the headquarters was announced in November 2018.

Matt Kelly, CEO of JBG Smith, said in the release, that the board’s vote is an indication of Northern Virginia’s belief in Amazon to “create tens of thousands of jobs, dramatically increase local tax revenues, and spur major new investments in the region’s transportation, affordable housing, and educational infrastructure.”

JBG Smith’s agreement with Amazon includes exclusive rights to lease approximately 500,000 square feet of office space at 241 18th Street S, 1800 South Bell Street and 1770 Crystal Drive in Crystal City, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Amazon is also expected to purchase multiple JBG Smith-owned sites in Pentagon City to develop 4.1 million square feet of office space.