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Amazon HQ2 plans near completion, latest developments shared

Developers say that since a year ago, they've come up with a "greener" and more "pedestrian-friendly" plan.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Amazon HQ2 will likely soon be a reality in Arlington after the county's planning commission unanimously approved the tech giant's latest plans for its East Coast headquarters, which is expected to be completed by 2025. 

The space, called the PenPlace site, is located in Crystal City near Army Navy Drive and Eads Street, and developers say that since a year ago, they've come up with a "greener" and more "pedestrian-friendly" plan. 

In an Arlington County Planning Commission board meeting on Monday, April 4, the development proposal detailed that the entire block is to be re-developed, featuring three 22-story office buildings, a 350-foot "Helix" structure, three retail pavilions, a 2.75-acre public park (up from an initial 2-acre park) and parking underneath the area and on the periphery. 

A childcare center and a community center are also in the works. The Helix building will be shaped like a double helix to house an artist in residence program, a meeting center and an outdoor hill climb.

When compared with their plan one year ago, big changes were made after community feedback was shared, including more planting areas featuring greenery that's meant to inspire relaxation, along with pathways.

The new plan is meant to be pedestrian and bike-friendly, as well as sustainable, with a goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.

Public comments were also heard at the meeting, where locals shared their approval as well as concerns, including whether the type of shrubbery being used in the project is good for the environment and how the campus will affect rent and quality of life. 

“I keep hearing friends with single-family homes complain about their prices going through the roof and complaining about their taxes," said neighbor Alyssa Marlow. "People in condos who can literally see and hear the noise didn’t benefit from that. And actually, our quality of life is being reduced.”

The Arlington County Board is expected to make its final vote on April 23, and Amazon hopes to break ground before the end of the year.

RELATED: Amazon unveils HQ2 design changes to proposed Arlington site

Credit: NBBJ/Amazon
"The Helix, an alternative workplace integrating work with nature, will be open to the public select weekends every month," Amazon said.

RELATED: FIRST LOOK: Rendering of Amazon HQ2's 'Helix' building in Arlington

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