The latest iteration of the “Amazon effect” is doing something a little different: spawning millions of square feet of brick-and-mortar retail rather than eradicating it.
Though Amazon.com’s headquarters site in Arlington, Va., known as HQ2, will not be finished for years, developers have been feverishly creating live, work, play destinations for the 25,000 Amazon workers who will descend on the area branded as National Landing.
Maryland-based JBG Smith, which is teaming up with Amazon to develop its headquarters and nearby properties, is just one of several REITs transforming the area. Work is underway at JBG Smith’s Central District Retail, which will comprise 109,000sq ft of entertainment and destination retail on Crystal Drive. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and a 17,000sq ft specialty grocer will anchor the project, already 80 per cent preleased. In February, it was slated for completion in the second quarter of 2021. The development will serve “as the retail heart of National Landing and the foundation for future phases of office, retail and residential development,” said Amy Rice, Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith.
JBG Smith is planning a second retail project, this one on the ground floor of the planned 1900 Crystal Drive, which Rice calls an “architecturally distinct development.” It features two residential towers and 34,000sq ft of street-level retail. “Once completed, in 2023, 1900 Crystal Drive will fill a long-standing retail and activity gap along Crystal Drive,” she said.