Grappling With the Potential Impact of Amazon's HQ2

What does it mean for housing planning if your county gets Amazon's second headquarters? Virginia's Loudoun County contemplates that possibility with a mix of confidence and trepidation.
September 27, 2018, 6am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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By Ken Wolter

As Loudoun County revises its comprehensive plan for the first time since 2001, it's also girding itself for the possibility that it'll draw the golden ticket in Amazon's vaunted HQ location search. As Renss Greene writes, "Amazon's direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of the campus is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding community, according to the company."

On the housing front, the new comprehensive plan adds under 9,000 homes prior to 2040. But regional planners are confident that enough multifamily units can be added to accommodate Amazon, including along D.C. Metro's Silver Line. In any event, there's a high likelihood that an Amazon HQ would only bump housing prices higher than they currently stand. And then there's the question of whether newcomers will actually utilize multifamily housing in Loudoun, which would compete with units closer to D.C.

Adding to the uncertainty, "Loudoun's elected leaders and economic development staff have refused to disclose what offers the region has made to Amazon." That has some stakeholders in the county's rural west worried about eventual suburban encroachment. 

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Published on Thursday, September 13, 2018 in Loudoun Now
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