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Report: Loudoun, Fairfax to offer state-owned CIT site to Amazon in joint HQ2 bid

Courtesy Photo/Cit.org
Officials from Fairfax and Loudoun counties plan to make a joint bid for Amazon’s much-hyped second headquarters, HQ2, and pitch the 26-acre Center for Innovative Technology site that straddles the two counties, the Washington Business Journal reported today, citing unnamed sources.

The Washington Business Journal said the state was also considering offering up the $30 million CIT property to Amazon at no cost.

With a little over a week left before cities and counties around the country submit their applications in hopes of landing Amazon’s HQ2, Loudoun officials have kept plans for their application under wraps.

Buddy Rizer, the county’s executive director of economic development, told the Times-Mirror the county’s Amazon HQ2 application will be confidential and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

After the company announced the project last month, Loudoun supervisors have held at least two closed session items to discuss “prospective businesses or expansion of businesses in Loudoun County where no previous announcement has been made.”

According to the Washington Business Journal, both county boards have backed the plan in private discussions.

Rizer declined to comment on the Washington Business Journal’s report, adding that he was under a written agreement that prevented him from commenting.

Officials from the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority could not immediately be reached for comment.

Last year, the Virginia General Assembly declared the CIT property, 2214 Rock Hill Road in Herndon, as surplus and directed the Virginia Department of General Services to shed the real estate.

CIT is a nonprofit corporation that creates technology-based economic development strategies and helps entrepreneurs launch and grow high-growth tech companies.

Last year, CIT announced plans to partner with George Washington University and private equity firm 22 Capital Partners to create a working smart city development that would connect Washington, D.C. and the Dulles Airport corridor to build a “living environment” around the needs of entrepreneurs..

The Washington Business Journal said the CIT property is currently tax-exempt and assessed at a combined $29.45 million. It comes with the 173,000-square-foot CIT building, 13.5 acres of undeveloped land and is right on the edge of Amazon's requirement of "30 miles from a population center."

The site is also along the planned Innovation Center Metro station slated to open in 2020 and less than five miles from Dulles International Airport.

Additionally, CIT is near several planned developments that could support HQ2. Those sites include The Hub, an 82-acre planned mixed-use development, and Waterside, a 333-acre, 5 million-square-foot mixed-use development pitched as an edge city sitting on the site of the former quarry.

Upon announcing the bid in September, Amazon said it expects to invest more than $5 billion in construction and aims to create as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs in addition to “tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community.”

The company said it was looking for up to 8 million square feet of office once the second headquarters is fully built out in 2027, but plans to start off with 500,000 square feet or more during phase one slated for 2019.

Amazon also said it wanted its second headquarters to be within a 30-mile proximity to 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.

Amazon already has a growing presence in the region.

In June, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced that Amazon Web Services would open a new corporate campus at One Dulles Tower in Fairfax County.

McAuliffe said Virginia competed with Texas and Washington state for the expansion, which is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs.

Amazon operates major data centers out of northern Virginia. It first set up shop in Loudoun County in 2006. Vadata Inc. is Amazon’s subsidiary company for its data center operations. Vadata has addresses in Sterling and Ashburn.

Interested localities must submit their RFPs for Amazon’s HQ2 by Oct. 19.

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


Great idea…take land and buildings the taxpayers paid for and just give it away to a monopolistic corporation.  Have people lost their mind?

If Amazon does not use the property can I have 5 acres for a dog park?

I’m all for it.  Businesses/industries are cyclical - can’t remain stagnant relying on government jobs to support our economy - especially when we are running huge annual budget deficits.  there will be a reckoning one day and we will be better off diversifying our economy.

You sort of wonder how Amazon can build offices for 50,000 people on 13 acres of land.  You wonder why the counties did not offer the property at the future 606 station which is about 200 acres.  But I guess MWAA is afraid Jeff Bezos will complain about airport noise for his employees.  Yes—where are these people going to live?????????

Just admit defeat and build townhouses.  You know deep in your heart that’s the plan.

Millions of tourists, foreign business people, and foreign government agents arrive each year, landing at Dulles for the first time. One of the first things they see after leaving the airport is that monstrosity of a building.  DO everyone in the world a favor and raze that eyesore, even if not for Amazon.

This deal will be the greatest thing for Loudoun and Fairfax. Although the Amazon building should be in Loudoun.

Great to see Loudoun and Fairfax working together towards a deal . that doesn’t make sense.  The housing is coming, whether this deal hits the region or not; accept it.  I’d much rather have the mega corporate HQ with it.  Amazon has a strong base in the area already; I hope this deal hits.

There are already 30k+ new housing units approved to be built around the Loudoun Silver Line stations and several thousand more being build around the Reston and Herndon stations.  So I don’t think Amazon moving into the area would change much in the housing department.

And if we have to be stuck with tons of new housing and cars then we might as well have a huge corporate HQ and tons of new jobs/tax revenue to go along with them.

A truly horrible deal: Do we really want 50,000 new houses, with, say, 100,000 new cars clogging our roads? Do we taxpayers want to get slammed with the cost of educating thousands and thousands of new children?  Do our businesses want a giant corporation to lure its employees away, or to raise the area’s employment costs?

Besides, “giving away” the land appears to violate Virginia’s Code section 2.2-1156, which requires that surplus property must be SOLD at auction or through a broker.

Charles Gordon

Sounds like a great idea! I am especially impressed Fairfax and Loudoun at least seem to be working together for the greater good. Now it would be extremely impressive if they would continue together to fight for the feds to release Dulles Airport parking lot land back to VA and reverse the “taking” of sales tax dollars from both Fairfax and Loudoun via the composite index.
Bob O__ Esq.

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