Experts predict that Amazon will locate its second headquarters somewhere in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
As cities await the company’s announcement, DC residents are bracing for the potential negative impacts on their communities.
Many neighborhoods are up in arms over Amazon’s lack of transparency and questionable labor practices.
Others are fearful that the new headquarters will exacerbate congestion and the lack of affordable housing in DC.
As Amazon grows closer to announcing the location of its second North American headquarters, HQ2, insiders have narrowed the company’s shortlist to the Washington, DC metropolitan area.
Whether the company locates in Montgomery County, Maryland, DC proper, or — as many speculate — the neighborhoods of Northern Virginia, its impact could be widespread throughout the region.
With its new headquarters, Amazon expects to introduce 50,000 employees and tens of thousands of additional jobs in construction and operations. That could amount to up to 1 million new residents over the span of ten to 15 years, depending on how many employees already live in the area.
Many worry that the region won’t be able to handle a major uptick in population size. Already, DC suffers from a crumbling metro system, rampant gentrification, and some of the worst traffic congestion in the country.
While local startups are touting the new talent and opportunity Amazon may bring to their ecosystem, some residents are singing a different tune — one of fear and frustration.
HQ2 is already affecting residents
If Amazon wants to locate in the heart of DC, the city has offered up a few possible locations. As the advisory neighborhood commissioner for Hill East, an area on the edge of Capitol Hill, Denise Krepp lives directly across from Reservation 13, one of the proposed Amazon sites.
The impact of an Amazon headquarters in the area, she said, would be disastrous.
“I’ve been in this community now for 20 years,” said Krepp. “Our infrastructure is failing. We have roads that are collapsing on themselves. We have water coming out of the streets in the middle of winter because the pipes are bursting. … We have a metro system that doesn’t work.”
Adding a new crop of workers to the area could put increased pressure on an already-waning transit system, she believes.
Residents are also concerned about the potential for a more acute shortage of affordable housing, similar to what has happened with Amazon’s first headquarters in Seattle.
Three days before the Amazon bid was announced in September 2017, Krepp attended a community meeting with the DC mayor’s office. At the time, she said, the office claimed there was no plans to further develop the parcels of land in her neighborhood. Days later, the city offered up the land to Amazon. Now, Krepp suspects that land is being held vacant in anticipation of the company’s arrival — a claim the city’s Deputy Mayor of Planning and Economic Development has strongly denied.
If Amazon were to take over the land, the company would …read more
Source:: Business Insider