Over the last two weeks the news about Amazon’s second HQ has reached a fever pitch. The Seattle-based behemoth said last year it was looking to invest $5 billion in a second headquarters that will employ up to 50,000 people over two decades. 238 cities applied, and 10 months ago the list was whittled to 20.
The flurry of recent news points to northern Virginia, and more specifically Crystal City which is owned by REIT JBG Smith as the winner. I have a special perspective on Crystal City because for 10 years is was CFO of The Charles E. Smith Companies (the Smith in JBG Smith). I know every inch of Crystal, and I wager that it will take the Amazon prize. It is a self-contained metro submarket that is incredibly well located; it has great public transportation, and you can get to Regan Airport in 3 minutes and Dulles in 45. Virginia is business friendly, the metro has a great workforce, technology abounds on the Dulles Corridor, and it’s where Bezos can keep an eye on the Federal Government. Bezos owns a home there as well as the Washington Post. And the reasons go on and on.
I always thought that Crystal City would someday be something special. Well, I bet its time has come.