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Deadline day: Loudoun, Fairfax to submit joint bid for Amazon’s second headquarters

Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle. Courtesy Photo/Amazon
It’s deadline day for cities and counties across the country to submit their applications in hopes of landing online retail giant Amazon’s much-hyped second headquarters, known as HQ2.

Loudoun County officials say they have worked around the clock to land the bid.

Executive Director of Economic Development for Loudoun County Buddy Rizer told the Times-Mirror he thinks he and his staff have worked several hundred hours since the bid was announced Sept. 7.

“This process has showed us that Loudoun County is prime for major corporate locations, and we think that we have everything that a company would be looking for in creating a world-class headquarters location, and we will keep telling that story,” Rizer said.

With its second headquarters, Amazon says it plans to invest more than $5 billion in construction and create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.

The company is looking for up to 8 million square feet of office once the second headquarters is fully built out in 2027, and wants the location of HQ2 to be within 30 miles of a city center, with direct access to highways and public transportation options, including bus routes, Metrorail and train, and within 45 minutes of an international airport.

Earlier this month, the Washington Business Journal reported officials from Fairfax and Loudoun planned on submitting a joint bid for Amazon’s HQ2. The counties will reportedly pitch the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology site that straddles the two counties. The Business Journal also reported that the state was considering offering the $30 million CIT property to the company at no cost.

A high-level Loudoun County government official told the Times-Mirror that Loudoun is working with the state and Fairfax County on a joint proposal.

Loudoun officials say they plan to keep the county's application confidential, and it is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) -- a move many have criticized for lacking transparency because it prevents the public from knowing what kind of incentives or potential tax breaks the county is offering Amazon.

Rizer said the county may decide to release details of the proposal at a later date once it is submitted.

Department of Economic Development spokeswoman Lois Kirkpatrick said information about specific project incentives is not subject to FOIA and is not made public unless and when it is voted on during open session by the Board of Supervisors.

In addition to Loudoun, neighboring cities and counties like Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Arlington and Prince George’s County are also trying to land HQ2.

Earlier this week, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced four locations for Amazon if it decides to move to the nation's capital: Anacostia Riverfront, Capitol Hill East, Shaw-Howard University and NoMa-Union Station.

The U.S. credit rating agency Moody’s also came out with a list of the top 10 Metro areas it thought would suit Amazon’s needs. The cities included Austin, Atlanta, Philadelphia; Rochester; Pittsburgh and the New York-New Jersey City area. The Washington, D.C. metro area was not included in its list.

“I don't believe that it’s in any community’s best interest to try to win this in the publicity," Rizer said. "I think the way to win this, especially with this particular company who doesn't like to have their name out there constantly, is to follow their direction, so that’s what we’re doing.”

Related coverage:

-Report: Loudoun, Fairfax to offer state-owned CIT site to Amazon in joint HQ2 bid
-No gimmicks in play for Loudoun County as it tries to land Amazon’s HQ2
-Loudoun County creates ad hoc committee in hopes of landing Amazon’s HQ2
-Loudoun County, nearby jurisdictions hope to land Amazon’s ‘HQ2’

Amazon’s HQ2 could have its drawbacks for Loudoun County


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @SydneyKashiwagi.

Comments


LoCo and Fairfax are such fools chasing after their own tails….Loco, FFX etc ain’t getting it…it is decided….and the winner is…..not Loco!! Too funny for words that this county of bumbling bumpkins think they have anything to offer in the area of quality of life…that ship ended years ago when the other BOS fools approved the Greedway…so funny…I can’t wait for the news to break who got it…it begins with A!!!


I hope they will submit the Purcellville area as the host site, We would welcome them plus have the space available. Farming the empty fields is less profitable each year.


All these cities trying to give them free money/best deal…In the end HQ2 will never happen or it will be 1/20th of what they initially claim.


They looking for 8 million square feet of office space.They will need 500 acres.We can’t handle another 50k people in Northern VA.


There’s nothing remotely resembling affordable housing at Amazon’s current HQ (downtown Seattle).

Not sure why its an issue for them now.


My fear is that we get it and immediately see Amazon telling the board of supervisors that Loudoun desperately needs more affordable housing because their ‘high paying jobs” are actually only highly paid when compared to North Korean laborers.


“50,000 high paying jobs”


Wait - I thought the Board was super concerned with affordable housing, which, we’re told is in a literal crisis.  What’s the impact on affordable housing when you import 50,000 high paid workers? 

LoL…oh yeah, it was just the building industry that was ‘concerned’.


I don’t know if we will get feedback, but my fear is we are going to lose and then blame a major loss on our lack of affordable housing and we will hear 1000 times that we lost Amazon because we need to develop more houses so it doesn’t happen again in the future.

My money is on Pittsburgh.

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