D.C. pitches four possible sites for Amazon’s second headquarters

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New development clustered on both sides of the Anacostia River near Nationals Park is one of the District's four pitches for an Amazon headquarters. (rendering courtesy of D.C. government)

As the District seeks to lure Amazon to create a second headquarters in D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser has identified four possible sites where the mammoth online retailer could secure its requested 8 million square feet of office space.

In an announcement Monday, Bowser suggested options around the city. In Northwest, she pitched a collection of buildings around Howard University and along the U Street NW corridor, which would include redevelopments of the Reeves Center at 14th and U streets and the D.C. Housing Finance Agency headquarters at 815 Florida Ave. NW.

The other locations the District is pitching to Amazon are along the Anacostia River near Nationals Park; in NoMa near Union Station; and at the current site of the D.C. General family homeless shelter next to RFK Stadium.

The Reeves Center is located at 14th and U streets NW. (Brian Kapur/The Current/September 2017)

“These locations present an unparalleled opportunity for Amazon to create interconnected, transit-oriented, and sustainable campuses with access to riverfront and green spaces,” Bowser said in a news release. “Our city’s growing tech scene, talented and diverse workforce, rich culture, and inclusive environment already made Washington, DC an ideal location for Amazon HQ2.”

Amazon’s second headquarters would eventually employ as many as 50,000 people, and the company would spend up to $5 billion to build it out over the next 10 to 15 years. Amazon’s first presence would arrive in late 2019.

Skeptics have challenged the viability of the District’s proposed locations, however, amid intense competition from the Washington area’s suburban jurisdictions and cities around the country. To supply enough total office space, three of the four sites would spread out the headquarters into non-adjoining buildings across many blocks. Meanwhile, the only location that could provide a unified campus sits next to the D.C. jail.

But there is one local advantage: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post and recently purchased a home in Sheridan-Kalorama.