Richmond Highway area politicians react to Amazon’s selection of Crystal City for new HQ

Building with large design on it.

A building in Crystal City that was repainted prior to Amazon’s final decision. (Arlington County imae)

Amazon confirmed Wednesday that it has picked Arlington County — along with New York City — as one of the two locations for its new headquarters. The move is expected to bring more than 25,000 full-time jobs to the Crystal City area of the county, which sits just a few miles north of the Richmond Highway corridor.

The selection of Virginia was uniformly lauded by the state’s top politicians, and well as by local leaders. Gov. Ralph Northam touted future investments in transportation and education infrastructure, calling Amazon’s decision “a big win for Virginia.” Sen. Tim Kaine and Sen. Mark Warner also expressed similar support for the decision.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-8), whose district includes Arlington and the Richmond Highway corridor, released a statement saying he had been part of talks with Amazon and state officials and was excited for the “infusion of jobs” and potential for investment.

“I am excited to welcome Amazon to Virginia’s 8th — already one of the nation’s most iconic and most educated congressional districts,” Beyer said. “This is a district that is steeped in history, including George Washington’s home and the final resting place for hundreds of thousands of patriots. It is now also the place where the future is coming to life.”

Beyer added that there are “challenges” associated with Amazon’s impending arrival, including affordable housing and transportation. He said he would take the lead to ensure that “all members of the community share in prosperity.”

“Everything in my career — in the private sector and as a Virginia public official — has taught me that communities rise and fall together,” Beyer said.

Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay released a statement saying that Amazon’s decision to move to Crystal City “will be greatly beneficial to Fairfax County, particularly along the Richmond Highway Corridor, and bring thousands of jobs and much investment to our area.”

McKay noted that the importance of the recent passage of the Embark Richmond Highway plan, which envisions a massive overhaul to the corridor’s transportation infrastructure through the construction of bus rapid transit (BRT), multimodal improvements to the highway and the extension of the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley.

“[W]e’re already on our way to making massive transportation improvements and transit enhancements for pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles alike,” McKay said.

McKay also said that issues like affordable housing and protecting the environment will be necessary, and that he was “[looking] forward to expediting this work.”

State Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36), whose district covers much of the Route 1 corridor, said Amazon’s decision puts more pressure on county leaders to speed up work on the changes outlines in Embark.

“HQ2 is coming and bringing change along with it to the Route 1 Corridor,” Surovell said on Facebook. “We need to get this BRT done and start working on the Yellow Line to Hybla Valley right now.”