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Amazon Pauses Construction Of Second HQ In Virginia As Brutal Cuts Take Hold

Amazon has paused construction at the second headquarters it is building in Arlington, Virginia, the company confirmed Friday, the latest in a foray of cost-cutting measures by the tech giant.

Amazon announced its largest layoffs in company history in July, exceeding 18,000 jobs cuts according to the company, and will now suspend the multi-year project estimated to bring nearly 25,000 employees to the Northern Virginia offices.

The headquarters dubbed HQ2 is being constructed in two parts, with construction on the “Met Park” campus nearing completion and the scheduled June opening for employees remaining on track. The Met Park campus can accommodate more than 14,000 employees and the company says it has already hired nearly 8,000.

“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees, and since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace (the second phase of HQ2) out a bit,” said John Schoettler, Amazon‘s real estate head, in a statement. “Our second headquarters has always been a multi-year project, and we remain committed to Arlington, Virginia, and the greater Capital Region.”

The construction delay was first reported by Bloomberg News

In late 2018, Amazon announced that it would be opening secondary headquarters in Arlington and the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, New York. The process was riddled with coverage and high-stakes negotiations, with several states offering tax breaks to incentivize the company toward choosing them.

Eventually, Amazon rescinded its plans to build an expansive corporate office in New York, as the criticism from activists, union leaders, and even lawmakers became too much to handle.

Amazon’s first headquarters, the Amazon Spheres, is in Seattle, Washington

Recently, Amazon has suffered the fate of many of its largest tech competitors, forced to make dramatic cost-cutting efforts after the burst of the Covid over-hiring bubble. Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have all announced major job cuts in the past several months, with several citing the collapse of the Covid boom specifically.