Amazon to pause construction on second headquarters in Virginia

Amazon has been forced to halt the construction process on its second headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as it continues to cut back on costs.

Around 8,000 Amazon workers are already working at an already-completed phase one of of the new campus, Met Park.

Construction on the second phase, known as PenPlace, was due to begin at some point this year.

PenPlace comprises of three office buildings and a 350-foot corkscrew shaped tower that was expected to be the architectural centrepiece of the new structure.

The new office was set to be the company’s largest outside its home of Seattle.

Amazon said the move to halt the construction was not related to the job cuts announced in January, where it planned to dismiss 18,000 employees from its corporate workforce.

“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees,” Amazon head of real estate John Schoettler said in a statement.

The US retail and cloud giant said it was still committed to the $2.5 billion project, which is expected to bring 25,000 new workers to the region by 2030.

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The delay to the project is a sign of how Amazon has looked to pull the reigns on years of heavy investment and expansion.

Plans for other new office blocks have also been shelved in the US, with some new workers due to start on graduate schemes being told they must wait for the opportunity.

A number of cities entered the bidding frenzy before Arlington was selected by Amazon as the location in 2018.

The ecommerce giant promised tens of thousands of high-paying jobs for the area picked to host the new headquarters.

Stonecrest, a city in Georgia, offered to change its name to “Amazon” if it was selected.

Amazon has not yet revealed a date for when construction begins, however the US firm has committed to a number of public-use projects that were initially due to be finished by early 2025.

“Since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace out a bit,” Schoettler added.

“Our second headquarters has always been a multiyear project, and we remain committed to Arlington, Virginia, and the greater Capital Region — which includes investing in affordable housing, funding computer science education in schools across the region, and supporting dozens of local non-profit[s].”



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