Amazon HQ2

A Closer Look at How the Amazon HQ2 Helix Will Impact Arlington

The 250-foot helix-shaped tower is expected to be finished in 2025

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Arlington skyline is set to gain a major addition with a new Amazon building in Crystal City. Just approved by the Arlington county board, the 350-foot helix-shaped tower will be the centerpiece of Amazon's HQ2 project.

The helix is part of a larger Amazon campus set to bring 25,000 jobs to the area, and some Arlington residents and workers are excited about the new sight, including Eric Cassel, president of the Crystal City Civic Association.

"I don't think there's a building like it in the world, so it's going to be very unique," Cassel said. "Our area has historically had very boring buildings. I mean boring buildings. It's been government office buildings."

The helix is also expected to be available to the public several times a month with distinct wraparound areas, along with a park. Amazon HQ2 lead landscape architect Kate Orff says that accessibility is a goal.

"You can see how all of these elements come together in a cohesive and welcoming park space," she told Arlington officials.

There are concerns surrounding the new development, including the potential increase in housing and rent prices, and whether Arlington's transportation infrastructure could support the new traffic.

There are two Metro stations and a VRE stop close by, and more bus transit is being planned.

Amazon's campus is expected to attract a huge cycling community, but 12th Street — right next to the helix — does not have a protected bike lane scheduled.

Cassel says the questions are valid.

"In general, we think it can [support the changes]," he said. "But we have concerns about specific streets."

Project leaders say plans may change as the area grows, but HQ2 is set to continue to make a major impact on our area.

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