Amazon Provides $40M of Vacant Land for Arlington Co. Affordable Housing

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Amazon has provided $40 million in vacant land to Arlington County that will be utilized in the creation of approximately 550 affordable homes in National Landing.

The undeveloped parcels are part of Crystal House, a 16-acre site located one block from Amazon’s future HQ2 in Arlington, Va. The e-commerce giant originally paid $40 million to secure the land option when it helped the nonprofit Washington Housing Conservancy acquire the property in 2020, and will now transfer its option to the county as part of an assignment and assumption agreement. 

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In that deal, Amazon provided a $340 million, below-market loan and $42 million in grants so WHC could acquire Crystal House, and create and preserve 1,300 affordable housing units at the location. It is part of Amazon’s commitment to contribute $2 billion to create and preserve 20,000 affordable housing units in its core markets over the next decade. 

“Amazon is demonstrating dedication and commitment to the Arlington community with this game-changing opportunity to increase affordable housing in the County,” Anne Venezia, Arlington County’s housing director, said in a prepared release. “Future development on the Crystal House site will help bolster critical housing supply goals in an area with limited affordable housing options.” 

The 550 new affordable housing homes will contribute to the total of 1,300 planned for the Crystal House site, and will be made available for moderate- to low-income households.  

The agreement still needs to be approved by the Arlington County Board, but if it goes through, the next step will be initiating a national-scale developer selection process.

“Amazon is committed to promoting economic inclusion for all families and fostering a thriving community in and around Arlington,” Catherine Buell, Amazon’s head of community development, said in a prepared statement. “This donation to the county brings us a step closer to achieving up to 1,300 total affordable homes at the site for families earning moderate- to low-incomes.”