Rizer: Loudoun ‘the Perfect Place’ for New Amazon HQ

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.


7 thoughts on “Rizer: Loudoun ‘the Perfect Place’ for New Amazon HQ

  • 2017-09-07 at 9:56 pm

    Dear Loudoun County and Amazon:
    No, thank you.
    There are plenty of places in North America where your facility can make a huge difference! Sure, it would make a difference here too. But, I’m concerned that it would not be the kind of difference we are looking for in Loudoun County. Well, that’s part of the problem. Even, we’re not sure of the difference we’re looking for. Maybe, not much. Give us time to sort it out (It may take awhile).
    We love Amazon to buy stuff. But, I think your data centers and Washington Post are quite enough for this area.
    Thank you for your non-consideration.
    Robert E. McKew

  • 2017-09-08 at 4:47 pm

    I hope the folks from Amazon drive Rt. 7 and the Dulles Greenway during rush hour before they make their decision. Come to think of it, let’s just put the Amazon headquarters next to Dan Snyder’s new Redskin’s stadium and call it a win-win.

  • 2017-09-09 at 7:21 am

    How much money and total staff time did we spend on trying to lure the FBI to Loudoun? Here we go again. Overcrowded schools, poor school transportation, commuter nightmares and if they choose to move west of Leesburg none existent cost effective broadband ! Come on to Loudoun 🙂

  • 2017-09-09 at 1:57 pm

    No, please, no! We want jobs but not a monopoly by one enormous employer. If this were to happen and they created 50,000 new jobs then we’d might as well rename the county to Amazon County. With that kind of outrageous influence Amazon would completely own the Board of Supervisors. This is the kind of thing that happens in science fiction, where Amazon becomes “The Company”.

    Send them to Fairfax, where half of Fortune 500 companies are already headquartered. Amazon won’t do any damage there.

  • 2017-09-13 at 3:32 pm

    Just what we need in Loudoun County. MORE congestion, even MORE crowded schools, MORE consumption of our County’s beauty and rural character. We already have a school bus transportation problem we can’t solve – the shortage of drivers isn’t going to improve. The quality of life costs to the majority of us will be high, I’m afraid. Buddy, please break it down for me and be realistic. What can the majority of Loudoun County residents look forward to should you be successful at attracting Amazon? How will you avoid contributing to the growth issues and concerns many of us will point out in this comments section?

  • 2017-09-13 at 3:50 pm

    Communities live on progress which offers the opportunities for infrastructure and an expanded tax base. Amazon we want you, we have what you need, do not pay any attention to the negative remarks. We the population will welcome you and accommodate as we have in the past the positive side of development as our County has for so many others in our growth. Above all we have plenty of space lying fallow that could be shovel ready to meet your major building operational requirements. Your consideration and past experience with Loudoun County supports that we are ready.

  • 2017-09-19 at 4:31 pm

    This is a wonderful opportunity for Loudoun County, and our DC Metro community as a whole. Are there issues we will inevitably need to work through should we win this bid? Of course. Every metro area will have to do the same in some regard or another. However, the benefits of having this many high-paying, high-skill jobs in our own county is a phenomenal opportunity! You want better schools and better infrastructure? How about filling all those new townhomes and single-family developments already existing or in progress throughout Loudoun with educated and high-earning families who can help drive positive change? Hate the traffic on Rte 7 and the Toll Road? Me too. Unfortunately, the vast majority of high-paying and skilled careers are located inside the beltway, meaning those of us who love living in places like Leesburg have to commute an hour plus each way to work. Loudoun already has an incredibly skilled and educated workforce – how many of us could potentially improve our quality of life by working for one of the best companies in America, right down the road from us (or one of the other corps that inevitably set up shop in the same area due to this boom)? There are over 6 million people in the DC metro area. I love Loudoun for many reasons, including the proximity to our “rural” areas and smaller, organic towns/cities with a real personality (such as Leesburg). However, I also recognize that expansion in this area is inevitable, especially in Eastern Loudoun. Why not be proactive, take control of our future, and solicit the best possible opportunities (and people) to help keep our communities safe, thriving, and progressive? Just my two cents!

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