The world’s largest online retailer is looking for a home for an east coast headquarters, and Loudoun County could throw its hat in the ring.
Tech giant Amazon, which already operates data centers in Loudoun County, has issued a request for proposals for a new headquarters, “HQ2,” to parallel its headquarters in Seattle, WA, where it employs more than 40,000 people. It has over 8 million square feet across 33 buildings, 24 restaurants and cafés, and pays $25.7 billion to its employees.
Its plans for an East Coast headquarters include up to 8 million square feet of space, over $5 billion in capital investment, and as many as 50,000 full-time employees earning an average of over $100,000 a year. It is seeking a site within 30 miles of a major population center, 45 miles of an international airport, and access to major highways and public transit.
The company says it prefers urban or suburban areas “the potential to attract and retain strong technical talent” and “communities that think big and creatively when considering locations and real estate options.”
“If existing buildings are available that can be retrofitted/expanded within an acceptable budget and time schedule, Amazon may consider this option; however, the company acknowledges that existing buildings may not be available to meet its requirements,” reads the request for proposals. “As such, Amazon will prioritize certified or shovel-ready greenfield sites and infill opportunities with appropriate infrastructure and ability to meet the project’s timeline and development demands.”
Department of Economic Development Director Buddy Rizer said Loudoun County would be “the perfect place for Amazon.”
“Obviously we have a great working relationship with the team from Seattle and will pursue this opportunity with our full resources,” Rizer said in an emailed statement. “Loudoun County would be the perfect place for Amazon to locate their East Coast headquarters with our new metro stops, great access to Dulles Airport and unmatched workforce. Loudoun checks all the boxes for any major corporate relocation.”
He said he would have no further comment for now, as it is his department’s policy not to discuss “projects currently in the market.”
Amazon has been aggressively expanding its business lately, including purchasing grocery chain Whole Foods and hiring tens of thousands of new employees.
“We expect HQ2 to be a full equal to our Seattle headquarters,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “Amazon HQ2 will bring billions of dollars in up-front and ongoing investments, and tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. We’re excited to find a second home.”
Bids for the new offices are due by Oct. 19, and the company said it expected to announce its choice next year. Loudoun could submit its own bid or join a regional effort to bring Amazon to the DC area.