By Cosette Jarrett
Of course, none of this would be possible without the support we’ve had from our partners, employees, neighbors, and officials in Arlington and Virginia, many of whom joined us at Metropolitan Park on the opening day to explore the new space.
“For years, I encouraged Amazon to come to Virginia because I knew it would create jobs and opportunities for the whole Commonwealth—not just Northern Virginia,” said U.S. Senator Mark Warner. “This is a great moment. I look forward to continuing to work with Amazon’s leadership to realize HQ2’s full potential.”
“I remember participating in the announcement in November 2018 that Amazon was coming to Virginia because of our high-quality education system and our talented workforce,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. “I’m excited that this dream is becoming a reality today. Amazon’s choice of Virginia is a validation of our Commonwealth as an innovator and an education state—and sends the message to others that they should choose Virginia too.”
Here are photos showing what it was like at Amazon’s second headquarters on opening day.
Governor Glenn Youngkin, alongside Amazon leaders Candi Castleberry, Brian Huseman, John Schoettler, and Holly Sullivan, cut the ribbon on opening day, marking the official opening of Metropolitan Park, the first phase of Amazon’s HQ2.
Amazon’s Vice President of Public Policy and Community Engagement, Brian Huseman, welcomed guests to the grand opening celebration.
“We are thrilled to call Virginia home,” Huseman said. “We thank the many federal, state, and regional policymakers, economic development officials, and business leaders. Your support and partnership have been invaluable … Virginia is a great place to do business and we are committed to continuing our investments in the HQ2 region and across the Commonwealth.”
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin joined the celebration, sharing his excitement about the opportunities the new integrated development will bring to Arlington’s National Landing neighborhood.
“I want to thank Amazon for your commitment to the community,” said Governor Youngkin. “Donating $160 million to 150+ local nonprofits, community groups, and schools is an extraordinary amount of money. It’s an extraordinary representation of what Amazon stands for. We celebrate this partnership building a better and a brighter future right here in Virginia. The Amazon team is truly engaged fully not just in their business, but in Virginia.”
Christian Dorsey, chair, Arlington County Board, also attended the event and shared his excitement about the new headquarters. “It has been incredibly rewarding to see everything that we thought our partnership could be materialize and deliver transformational change,” Dorsey said. “Congratulations to Amazon, my colleagues and to our entire Arlington community. This is a great moment in our history.”
Families, pets, employees, and community members enjoyed the outdoor spaces and parks.
Employees gathered in the Center of Energy—a shared space inside one of the office buildings—to watch the ceremony and enjoy the new amenities.
Local businesses have begun to open their doors to brand-new storefronts with an ideal location for services like doggy daycare and bike repairs and sales.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an Amazon campus without free bananas. The famous Amazon banana stand was stationed outside to offer fresh treats.
Heading inside, Governor Youngkin and fellow local officials joined Amazon leaders on a tour of the offices starting with what we’re calling the Center of Energy, an open meeting space and café.
The tour moved along to the third floor terrace, where employees can eat together or have meetings outside while enjoying the view of the central green.
Government officials also caught a glimpse of the workspaces where Amazon employees were collaborating in real time.
Sustainability was a common theme during the tour, as the first all-electric building in Amazon’s real estate portfolio powered by 100% renewable energy.
The Amazon Horticulture team also showcased the on-campus garden where they will grow fresh food for local nonprofit, Kitchen of Purpose.
As the day came to a close, John Schoettler, vice president of Amazon’s Global Real Estate and Facilities, and Holly Sullivan, vice president of Worldwide Economic Development, discussed Amazon’s commitment to the community, sharing plans to double down on community investments and offering insight into Amazon’s positive impacts on local communities in the U.S.
“At Amazon, the success of our office developments is contingent upon our ability to integrate and stitch ourselves into the fabric of the community,” Schoettler said. “We worked together to ensure that it was the community that would shape Amazon’s presence here in Arlington, and not the other way around.”
Read the full story here.