Amazon releases new images of HQ2 as it ramps up hiring in Virginia

A depiction of Amazonas HQ2 shows a “Forest Plaza” at the base of the 350 foot tower called “The Helix”.

NBBJ / Amazon

Amazon announced the latest look at its second headquarters, called HQ2, on Wednesday and announced plans to hire 1,900 new employees near the sprawling campus in Northern Virginia.

In a blog post, the company announced new design proposals for the second construction phase in HQ2. The renderings show a “forest square” at the foot of the heart of the village, a 350-foot tower called “The Helix”. The forest area includes public seating areas and paths that are surrounded by so-called “forest spaces” with trees, a waterfall and other landscaped gardens.

The Amazon HQ2 rendering with the Helix, which includes the workspace, will be open to the public on select weekends each month.

Courtesy NBBJ

Amazon also announced new renders of a planned space on the edge of the Arlington campus. It was said that the square would provide space for retail stores and serve as a public meeting place, including for things like “special neighborhood events”.

Amazon also shared new design proposals for another space near HQ2 that will accommodate retail stores and serve as a “hangout” for community events.

NBBJ / Amazon

The updated design plans are being released as the company says it plans to fill 1,900 positions in and around its second headquarters.

The new hires will more than double Amazon’s workforce in Arlington, Virginia, where the company currently has 1,600 employees. The new roles span a variety of teams including Amazon’s Alexa and Cloud Computing businesses, as well as the growing chain of Fresh grocery stores. Amazon has announced that it will create around 25,000 jobs in and around HQ2 over the next ten years.

Amazon selected Arlington as the location of HQ2 in addition to Long Island City in Queens, New York, as part of a closely watched search for a second headquarters. The company announced in 2019 that it would suspend plans to build its new headquarters in New York after being pushed back by local activists and city council leaders.

Amazon and architecture firm NBBJ presented plans for the second phase of HQ2 to Arlington County officials on Wednesday. If the plans are approved, Amazon hopes to begin construction of the Helix and other office buildings on the site in 2022. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.

Last year, Amazon laid the foundation stone for its second headquarters. The Helix is ​​expected to be built in a location within HQ2 called “PenPlace”, which is expected to comprise approximately 2.8 million square feet of office space. Amazon is also building two 22-story office towers in a development known as Metropolitan Park, south of PenPlace.

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