Amazon previously went on the hunt for the city to build its second headquarters, which it planned to equal its first in Seattle and employ tens of thousands of people. However, recent months have not been great for the company, which started plans to lay off 18,000 employees in January and is now seeing delays in building its second headquarters.
Amazon’s HQ2 Delays
There was a lot of hope when Amazon first announced its plans to build its second headquarters, which it calls HQ2, in Virginia. But after laying off employees earlier this year, the construction of the three 22-story office towers has been halted.
The entire project is not being stopped. The first phase of construction, Metropolitan Park, is already near completion, and there are plans for it to open in June. Once completed, it will have a capacity of around 14,000 employees.
However, according to John Schoettler, Amazon’s real estate chief, the larger section known as PenPlace has been delayed indefinitely. That includes the companion building to the “Spheres” in Seattle, called the “Helix.”
Amazon has been insistent that the delays are “not a result, nor indicative, of role eliminations.” But even though the company is trying to distance the HQ2 problems from layoffs, it is difficult to do so. Some of those layoffs might have even affected those in the Virginia area.
However, Virginia is not the only place Amazon has gotten ahead of itself when it comes to office space.
- The primary Seattle headquarters has entire floors that are vacant
- Construction has stopped on new office towers in Bellevue and Nashville
The company continues to insist it is committed to bringing jobs to HQ2, though, saying that its long-term goals are unchanged and that there are plans to bring 25,000 jobs to HQ2 by 2030.
Amazon Is Not the Only Company with Building Issues
Many tech companies wanted to build new offices leading up to 2020. However, the rise in remote work left these companies with the problem of having enormous officers that very few employees wanted or needed.
One solution was to have people return to work by “force,” but that has proved mostly ineffective. Others have simply continued forward, but with remote and hybrid work here to stay, many companies find themselves stuck. Amazon is not the first to face office problems, and it will not be the last.