Amazon has kept the business community on tenterhooks for the past year by dangling the location of its future second HQ over our heads. The promise of 50,000 new jobs and $5 billion in new construction had cities as diverse as Toronto, Boston, and San Diego scrambling to offer taxpayer-funded
bribes incentive packages to bring Amazon HQ2 to their community.
In January 2018 Amazon narrowed the list of candidates to twenty locations, and now I am told that Amazon has settled on its new home.
A credible source in the local real estate community has told me that Amazon is now scouting Loudoun County for locations to build its second HQ.
Located approximately 30 miles outside of Washington DC, Loudoun County is part of a burgeoning tech corridor. Don’t be fooled by its population of 380 thousand; this county is one of the hubs of the internet, with as much as 70% of the world’s internet traffic flowing through its servers. (Also, don’t mistake the limited number of municipalities for lack of development; this area is organized and managed on the county level rather than by municipalities.)
Amazon and other companies have extensive data centers here, as well as offices. Amazon’s AWS is planning to build a campus in that area, for example, and this is the same general area that gave birth to the Entourage Edge ereader back in 2009 (the Entourage offices were located in Tyson’s Corner, a few miles further in towards DC).
My source was unable to tell me where Amazon was scouting, but back in March Business Insider speculated that Amazon could build its new HQ on a 26-acre parcel located near Dulles International Airport.
Another possible location is a parcel to the west of Dulles Airport.
Earlier this week the airport authority sold 424 acres of land from its western edge (leaving the airport with over 11 thousand acres). The buyer is Digital Realty, a publicly-traded company that runs data centers around the world.
If Amazon did choose one of these locations, its employees would live in Loudoun County or commute from one of the surrounding counties, Maryland (directly to the north), or West Virginia (due west).
Amazon has not set a date to announce its HQ2. The company currently employs over half a million people in offices around the world, including over 30,000 people in Seattle alone.