Amazon is set to open its second national headquarters in Arlington, Virginia in June, and fanfare is already under way.
The Seattle-based company will welcome the first 25,000 employees into its suburban D.C. campus next month, which explains why the local housing market is already experiencing a boom.
Real estate agents in the area are reportedly facing a depleting inventory and rising prices as new Amazon employees move to secure housing. For context, Arlington’s home prices were up about 18 percent in April, compared to last year, with available units down to 42 percent. This could be attributed to local homeowners planning to hold on to their properties until their prices inflate due to Amazon’s presence down the line.
This gentrification-like boom is especially concerning considering Amazon’s havoc on Seattle’s housing market in recent years. This month, the company promised to hire native talent from the local region, meaning those already living in the Washington, D.C., metro area.
The company’s senior vice president, Jay Carney, said this month that Amazon plans to bring the aforementioned 25,000 jobs to the area while utilizing its diverse skilled community. Unlike in the location of their original headquarters, the D.C. area is “a much more racially diverse area than the Pacific Northwest,” Carney explained.
Whether these diversity efforts will pan out remains to be seen. The e-commerce giant has a history of scandals relating to employees, including stories of mistreatment and low wages plaguing their warehouses. Not to mention that the company’s promises of job creation in underprivileged areas hasn’t always worked out to those communities’ benefits.
That said, Amazon has been overwhelmingly welcomed by Virginia, unlike its infamous attempt to open an HQ2 counterpart in New York City’s Long Island City, Queens, neighborhood.
Earlier this year, the Arlington County Board made a unanimous 5-0 decision to award Jeff Bezos’ company with large tax breaks for choosing the city as the location for HQ2. In turn, Amazon will also receive large subsidies from Virginia as it prepares to open and continue expanding its East Coast campus