Community engagement process begins for Amazon’s future headquarters

Virginia

ARLINGTON, Va. (WDVM) — On Thursday, Arlington County is launching its community engagement process for PenPlace: Amazon’s permanent headquarters that will be located in Pentagon City.
Matt Mattauszek, the county’s Pentagon City and Crystal City planning coordinator, believes Amazon’s arrival will be a catalyst for the surrounding neighborhood’s economy and Arlington County’s economy as a whole.

Mattauszek acknowledged that Arlington is home to a “highly engaged community” with a “high knowledge base,” and like any other project, the county will include the public’s thoughts in the process. Although Amazon’s arrival is a big deal, Mattauszek says the county’s treating it “like any other site application.”

For example, Thursday’s virtual community kickoff meeting will include breakout sessions, in which residents will hear directly from the applicant and will be able to ask questions. “It’s going to take several months and a lot of different meetings to cover a lot of different topics, but I think throughout the course of that engagement strategy we’re going to make sure we get the best project possible,” said Mattauszek.

Some residents have expressed concern over Amazon’s branding strategy. It’s HQ2 will be in Arlington’s Pentagon City, Crystal City, and Potomac Yard. The company has rebranded it to “National Landing.”

Mattauszek says the name won’t erase the county’s history. “I think it’s more of a marketing element that some in the community utilized to really highlight just what some of these advantages Amazon is bringing to this area by their arrival, and kind of the ‘Amazon effect.’”

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