Amazon suspends construction of HQ2 after nationwide battle royale over location

Amazon suspends construction of HQ2 after nationwide battle royale over location

Amazon suspends construction of HQ2 after nationwide battle royale over location

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Remember when Amazon turned the United States into a Thunderdome, forcing every state to fight for the right to host the company’s next big headquarters and 25,000 jobs? Well, after laying off more than half that number, Amazon is putting the brakes on Headquarters 2 in Virginia, postponing the construction of three 22-story office towers.


The news was first reported by Bloomberg. The first phase of construction, called Metropolitan Park, is nearing completion and will house some 8,000 staff when it opens in June – assuming the new “three days a week” rule remains in place. The second, larger section, known as PenPlace, was originally scheduled to open now. But that has been delayed indefinitely.

Unfortunately, that includes the well-shaped companion “Helix” building to the “Spheres” in Seattle (known locally by a different name) also being carried over.

Although Amazon has categorically asserted that “this change is not the result, nor indicative, of role eliminations”, it is impossible to consider the decision without taking into account that the company recently laid off some 18 000 people across the company. I asked if the Virginia employees were among those laid off (it seems very likely), but got no response.

It’s not the only place where Amazon seems to have gotten ahead in terms of office space. At its Seattle headquarters, entire floors are vacant, and construction of new office towers in Bellevue (just east of Seattle) and Nashville have stalled.

It’s not alone in this, of course: Many tech companies were building millions of square feet of new office space through 2020. Amazon wasn’t even the only one fishing to see which state would offer the biggest tax breaks (Washington state has tilted left recently and threatened new taxes, emboldening plans to escape to friendlier climes).

And he’s not alone in not knowing exactly what to do in this new world of remote working, having invested truly enormous sums in office complexes that, ultimately, very few employees want or have. need. Simply forcing people to come to work has been one “solution”, and giving up more expensive offices is another.

But Amazon has pledged to create 25,000 Headquarters 2 jobs by 2030 and “our long-term intent and commitment remain unchanged,” the company wrote in a statement. A company as large and enduring as Amazon can ride out the twin storms of macroeconomic conditions and the madness of its executives’ business decisions, filling the sails on the next upswing and hiring like mad when the time comes. After all, there are tax cuts to be had!


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