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Initial Site Plan for Amazon's HQ2 Finds Critics

A lack of architectural ambition and a focus on car transportation are two of the criticisms that have followed Amazon's initial plans for its second headquarters in Northern Virginia.
September 27, 2019, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Amazon Fulfillment Center
By Ken Wolter

Members of the Northern Virginia communities surrounding Amazon’s new headquarters in Pentagon City are pressing for the company's plans to make more room for non-automobile forms of transportation. 

"Several dozen residents and community group representatives urged the company to take a stronger stance on pedestrians and public transit during a site plan review at the Aurora Hills Community Center (735 18th Street S.) Tuesday night," according to the article.

The initial plans for Amazon's second headquarters [pdf] have been making the rounds since July, in the form of a site plan for what's now called metropolitan Park. A July article by Vernon Miles describes the plan as "colorful but unambitious."

"Amazon’s proposal involves the construction of two new office buildings at the corner of 15th Street S. and S. Eads Street — almost the perfect midway point between the Pentagon City and Crystal City Metro stations. The project is part of the first phase for Amazon’s permanent offices opening in Arlington," according to Miles back in July.

Fast forward to September, and public engagement has focused on the car-centric nature of the plans under review. "Amazon’s plans for its new headquarters, including an underground parking garage with 1,968 parking spaces, remain unchanged," according to the most recent article. Other car-centric components of the plan are listed as follows:

  • A pick-up and drop-off zone for ride hailing services like Uber and Lyft at the intersection of Eads Street and S. Elm Street.
  • A drop-off zone for a daycare center in the park, also located on S. Elm Street.
  • Street parking for cars along S. Eads Street, 15th Street S., and S. Elm Street.
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Published on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 in ARLnow
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