Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Crystal City Arlington as Amazon one-half of HQ2 | Part 1: General + Housing impact

-- "Crystal City Arlington as Amazon one-half of HQ2 | Part 2: Leveraging Amazon's entrance for complementary economic development improvements"
-- "Crystal City Arlington as Amazon one-half of HQ2 | Part 3: Leveraging Amazon's entrance for complementary transit network improvements"
-- "Crystal City Arlington as Amazon one-half of HQ2 | Part 4: Pie in the Sky transit improvements"

=====

Communities want Amazon HQ2 because of evident economic development value, based on the real-life experience in Seattle ("12 HQ2 Numbers That Made Every North American City Hyperventilate," Seattle Business Magazine, "Amazon: Remaking Seattle in Its Own Image," Costar, 2014) where the city is experiencing a massive boom.


And unlike a lot of tax incentive deals ("Business Incentives are Ineffective and Wasteful," CityLab), based on the history of the positive economic impact in Seattle, it's fair to argue the proclaimed benefits will be realized, which is why I thought that providing tax incentives was a reasonable decision.  Although yes, this expansion has been complemented by a significant rise in housing prices.

-- "An example when I may disagree with Richard Florida: incentives for landing the Amazon HQ2"

But given that Amazon's HQ2 search hasn't focused on criteria I would have thought that mattered:

-- "The Amazon second headquarters "****show": Part 1 | Where could it go?"
-- "Amazon second headquarters list of finalists"

that is (1) lower housing costs for workers compared to Seattle, rather than equal to Seattle housing costs, and (2) providing revitalization energy for a center city that still languishes (e.g., Philadelphia, Newark, Baltimore, etc.)...

By splitting the expanded effort into two with one headquarters in Crystal City, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, and the other in the Long Island City section of the Queens borough of New York City as has been reported by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times ("Amazon Plans to Split HQ2 in Two Locations") they will reduce some of the worst effects on housing and commercial space costs that would come by locating in already expensive areas.

Queens is cheaper than Manhattan, and Crystal City is cheaper than DC, but they are still higher cost cities.

The DC area had three finalists: DC proper; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Northern Virginia

Relatively speaking, Arlington's commercial space is lower cost these days not only because they can build more densely compared to DC, but because they have a high vacancy rate, because of competition from other areas in Northern Virginia ("The state of Arlington County Virginia's commercial real estate market: 2012 and the future"), especially because of how the Silver Line has opened up parts of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties and lower cost land to "transit oriented development" ("Short term vs. long term thinking: transit, the Washington Examiner, Fairfax/Loudoun Counties vs. DC," 2011, and "Silver line reshaping commercial office market in Fairfax County," 2015).

Similarly, Queens is expensive relatively speaking, but Long Island City has long been utilized as a cheaper to lease "back office" location for Manhattan-based mostly financial businesses ("Citi consolidation opens a million square feet," New York Post), and it still has a lot of huge warehouse and distribution buildings able to be transformed, along with decent subway connections and inclusion within an expanding water ferry transit system.

Cloud computing as a regional competitive advantage.  With regard to Crystal City, as charlie has commented, it makes sense for Amazon to have a large presence there around Amazon Web Services ("All of Amazon's 2017 operating income comes from AWS," ZDNet), its cloud computing company that has amazing profit margins--AWS's profits subsidize the e-commerce operations--and an increasing amount of business with the government, plus Northern Virginia is one of the nation's main Internet backbone hubs.

Constrained build out opportunities in DC and Montgomery County.  With regard to previous announcements that DC, Montgomery County, and inner and outer Northern Virginia were all in the running, the choice of Crystal City for a smaller operation makes more sense to me too.

Both the White Flint area of Montgomery County and DC are not only physically constrained making it harder to grow the commercial space footprint over the long term, they have especially high housing prices.  The increased cost of commercial space expansion in Seattle ("Amazon has its eye on 3 more blocks of Denny Triangle," Seattle Times, 2012) is a primary reason for Amazon's choice to build a second headquarters.

And the outer fringes of Northern Virginia previously touted, such as along the Silver Line, didn't make sense to me except for Reston, because those areas don't have the kinds of urban design and place characteristics that are desired by the younger demographics likely comprising the employment recruitment audience of a firm like Amazon.

Housing costs.  The DC Policy Center ("How big of a deal is Amazon HQ2 for the DC Metro Region?") referencing an Urban Institute study argues that the impact of Amazon's entry won't be that significant on housing prices.

Definitely the halving of the size of the operation will make a big difference.  And it's true in the context of the Washington Metropolitan Area, which has 6.2 million residents and spans an area greater than 5,500 square miles, the theoretical effect of adding 25,000 high income households is spread out and won't make much difference in the economy as a whole.

But they miss a major pointThe point isn't the impact on the entire region as a market for residential housing, but the various housing sub-markets that are likely to be most desirable for newly arriving Amazon employees.  Likely these are going to be close-in neighborhoods with quality transportation connections allowing for relatively quick commutes to and from the workplace.

That means already high-cost neighborhoods in Arlington, Alexandria, and DC.

Residential real estate flyersThis flyer was posted at my voting precinct, a recreation center on the edge of DC.  And this area is almost five miles from the city's core.

I am not as familiar with the sub-markets in Arlington and Alexandria, but I know they are equal or higher in cost, and in DC the prevailing price for single family housing in many sub-markets throughout the city is close to $1 million ("The nature of high value ("strong") residential real estate markets" and "What people don't get about the DC housing market: supply is much less than demand, so prices keep rising (a/k/a basic economics)," 2017).  Last week, the Washington Post had an article on $2.5 million condominiums in DC neighborhoods.  Condominium prices will rise too.

Even a small increase in demand for housing in these neighborhoods, where demand is already greater than supply, will have extranormal impacts on prices.

It's those kinds of neighborhoods where the effect will be much more pronounced and more significant than is anticipated by the likes of the Urban Institute and the DC Policy Center.

Natalie U. Roy, Arlington's Bicycling RealtorNeighborhoods in Arlington and Alexandria.  I called up Natalie Roy, of Arlington's Bicycling Realty Group, to get some insight from an Arlington-based Realtor.  Here's a summary of our conversation.

"While no one has a crystal ball, there is a visible 'Amazon bump' that is generating excitement already in terms of investment possibilities.

I am already getting calls from investors looking for rental properties, condominiums, etc."

"There will be a bump throughout Arlington--north, east, and south, on both sides of Arlington Boulevard (Route 50) and in close in areas in Alexandria too.  Other parts of Arlington--Clarendon, Rosslyn, especially those areas already on Metrorail lines, Shirlington will benefit."

"Arlington has a lot of small, nice little neighborhoods. Yes, housing prices are high already, but it depends.  There's a wide range of housing types, small houses, bigger houses, and condominiums."

This house in the Penrose neighborhood is for sale for $600,000 and has 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, in 1,684 s.f., on a 1,784 s.f. lot.

"In South Arlington, neighborhoods like Fairlington, Shirlington, Penrose, and Arlington Heights.  There are condo neighborhoods north of Pentagon City."

"The Columbia Pike Corridor--I would have loved to see the trolley built there. [Arlington cancelled the plans a few years ago.] It's an easy bus ride to Crystal City.  But it's difficult to find anything there now, house-wise."

"Arlington Ridge, Aurora Highland, Arlington View, Addison Heights are desirable neighborhoods right now."

"Neighborhoods off 395, like Oakcrest, and Clairmount and Columbia Forest are great places to live too."

"With interest rates likely to go up, we can't be sure how the market will react."

"Alexandria--so many of the neighborhoods, especially those close to Crystal City, not just Del Ray, even Mount Vernon, which is farther out," will get an Amazon bump too.

-- Zillow map of houses for sale in Arlington County, Virginia

My take.  My sense is that single family housing prices are going to top $1 million for the average house, in most if not all of these neighborhoods in Arlington and Alexandria likely to be affected by an "Amazon bump."  And DC neighborhoods too will continue to climb in price, with the influx of new high income residents adding more demand to a market already unbalanced, with more demand than there is supply..

Yes, at the metropolitan scale, the impact won't be so visible--prices in Loudoun, Prince William, Prince George's, Montgomery, and much of Fairfax will remain the same.  But at the micro-scale of individual neighborhoods within what I call the regional residential landscape, there will be significant impact in Arlington, Alexandria, and DC.

Too often, using gross-grained data misses variances that are significant when using a more finely tuned lens.

Labels: , , , , ,

43 Comments:

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

In a comment on another item in this series, charlie made a point that likely neighborhoods served in the Yellow Line/Green Line corridor in DC north of Crystal City could be attractive to Amazon workers also.

 
At 9:05 AM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

A Newsday article speculates that the entry of Amazon HQ 1/2(2) along with Google, will lead increase housing prices in Queens.

https://www.newsday.com/business/amazon-hq2-long-island-home-1.23115967

11/9/2018

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

1. Bisnow article on other property owners that will benefit from Amazon in Greater Crystal City

https://www.bisnow.com/washington-dc/news/construction-development/beyond-jbg-smith-20-developers-poised-to-benefit-from-amazon-in-northern-virginia-94994

2. Piece by Michael Kimmelman in the NYT about the impact on Queens, how companies "should be giving back".

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/arts/design/amazon-hq2-long-island-city-costs-benefits.html

3. Separately but related, Virginia Tech announces the creation of a tech campus adjacent, comparable to the Cornell Tech initiative in NYC:

https://www.bisnow.com/washington-dc/news/economic-development/a-look-at-virginia-techs-planned-1b-potomac-yard-campus-94963

11/14/2018

 
At 12:40 PM, Blogger Richard Layman said...

USA Today on housing price increase, good for sellers, bad for buyers

https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2019/02/26/amazon-hq-2-home-buying-season-northern-virginia-heats-up/2949276002/

 
At 2:01 AM, Blogger Zinavo-Web Design | Web Development | SEO | Mobile Apps | ERP/CRM said...

Your blog is very interesting. Thanks for sharing nice information on Web Designing Company in Bangalore | Web Design Agency in Bangalore | Bangalore Web Design Companies

 
At 1:05 AM, Blogger Vistas AD Media said...

Really a great post. Appreciate the effort in educating us. We are also same service provides in Bangalore.
Web Design Company in Bangalore
Website Designers in Bangalore
Website Development Company in Bangalore
Advertising Agency in Bangalore
SEO Company in Bangalore

 
At 2:58 AM, Blogger Appslure said...

Great work done by author of this blog. Its an Amazing blogger. We are one of the best Mobile App Development | Mobile App Development Company in India | Website Development Company in Delhi | Web Designing Company in Gurgaon.

 
At 3:05 AM, Blogger Brandstory said...

Nice post Really useful information  Web Design Company in Bangalore, Web Development Company in Bangalore, Web Design Services in Bangalore, Web Design Company in Bangalore, Best Website Design Companies in Bangalore, Best Ecommerce Website Development Company in Bangalore, Website Design Services in Bangalore, Best Website Design Company in Bangalore, SEO Company in Bangalore, SEO Agency in Bangalore, SEO Services in Bangalore, Best SEO Companies in Bangalore, SEO Services Company in Bangalore, Digital Marketing Company in Bangalore, Digital Marketing Agency in Bangalore

 
At 5:18 AM, Anonymous Ismail said...

Nice post...Thanks for sharing...
seo services bangalore

 
At 2:04 AM, Blogger achu said...

These are the prominent IT bolster administrations Dubai which works 24X7 for the prosperity of customer's business needs and necessities.
it services companies in dubai
it solutions companies in dubai
it support services dubai
it solution providers in dubai

 
At 2:05 AM, Blogger achu said...

these are the top IT organizing organizations in Dubai business viability with effective development and arrangement.
it infrastructure services dubai
it managed services dubai
structured cabling companies in dubai
networking companies in dubai
it networking companies in dubai

 
At 2:59 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Residential & commercial tile cleaning services for all your flooring requirements. Get your tile cleaner than ever!
tile cleaning gold coast
tile and grout cleaning gold coast

professional tile cleaning gold coast

floor cleaning gold coast

 
At 3:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Best upholstery cleaning services in Gold Coast for all your furniture cleaning requirements. Hire experts from us to remove the deep stains & dirt
upholstery cleaning gold coast
upholstery cleaning southport
upholstery cleaning gold coast australia
upholstery cleaning upper coomera
upholstery cleaning services

 
At 3:41 AM, Blogger lucifer Davis said...

Professional mattress cleaners in Gold Coast for commercial and residential mattress. Fast & efficient. Contact us now to sanitize and clean your mattress!
mattress cleaning gold coast
Simply the best couch cleaning service in Gold Coast with experienced technicians in removing dirt & deep stains. Contact us now!
couch cleaning gold coast
Best car seat cleaning services in Gold Coast for most reasonable rate. Let us give your car a deep clean!
car seat cleaning gold coast
Clean, sanitize and deodorize your curtains from professional curtain cleaners in Gold Coast. Well experienced in curtain cleaning & services are available throughout Australia.
curtain cleaning gold coast
High-quality rug cleaning services in Gold Coast. Makes your space clean & healthy. Removes intense stains & improves longevity.
rug cleaning gold coast
Professional blind cleaning technicians in Gold Coast. Cleans without damaging your blinds. Best technology, hassle-free service & great price.
blind cleaning gold coast

 
At 3:51 AM, Blogger achu said...

Professional carpet cleaners in Gold Coast for a cleaner & healthier space. Call us now for special deals.
carpet cleaning gold coast
cheap carpet cleaning gold coast
gold coast carpet
best carpet cleaning gold coast

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger achu said...

Proficient floor covering cleaners in Gold Coast for a cleaner and more beneficial space. Call us now for unique arrangements.
carpet cleaning gold coast

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger achu said...

Best upholstery cleaning administrations in Gold Coast for all your furniture cleaning prerequisites. Recruit specialists from us to expel the profound stains and soil
upholstery cleaning gold coast

 
At 3:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

these are the study abroad consultants in Kochi where aspiring students gets unlimited range of scope to study abroad.
Study Abroad Consultants in Kochi

 
At 3:24 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

these are the study abroad consultants in Kerala where aspiring students gets unlimited range of scope to study abroad.
Study abroad Consultants in Kerala

 
At 3:01 PM, Anonymous startup platform said...

Fantastic post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector do not notice this. You must continue your writing. I am sure, you have a great writer. keep posting!

 
At 7:16 AM, Blogger swati singh said...

Thanks for sharing interesting topic. Keep sharing more blogs like.Your blog is very knowledgeable, It is the best blog i found since morning. I am also a writer and i am writing a blog on the same topic and best multi cryptocurrency Wallets for Mobile. Keep posting!

 
At 2:40 PM, Blogger Brandstory said...

Thanks for your post! Really interesting blogs. Here is the some more interesting and most related links.

Best digital marketing company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Brandstory is one of the top and best digital marketing companies in Dubai UAE. As a leading digital marketing agency in Dubai, We offer search engine optimization services, online marketing services, UI UX design services, search engine marketing services, email marketing services, Google / Facebook / Bing pay per click services, Internet marketing services, website design services and website development services, social media marketing services. Hire ROI based digital marketing services company in dubai to get digital leads for your business.

Digital marketing company in Dubai | Digital Marketing Agency in Dubai | SEO Company in Dubai | SEO Agency in Dubai | Best Digital Marketing Companies in Dubai | Top Digital Marketing Agencies in Dubai | Best SEO Companies in Dubai | SEO Agencies in Dubai | Online Marketing Company in Dubai | SEO Services Company in Dubai | PPC Company in Dubai | PPC Agency in Dubai | PPC Services in Dubai | Social Media Marketing Company in Dubai | Social Media Marketing Services in Dubai | Social Media Marketing Agencies in Dubai | Web Design Company in Dubai | Website Designers in Dubai | Website Development Services Company in Dubai | Web Design Companies in Dubai

 
At 11:01 AM, Blogger Nilesh Pandey said...

I am searching for an article like this for the last 4 hours on the net, but I couldn't. Suddenly I read this one. Thanks a lot for this Article. I really appreciate your writing skills. we are the cryptocurrency expert if you want to know about cryptocurrency ETF fund or cryptocurrency etc. please visit our website to read the full articles about the topic.

 
At 7:12 AM, Blogger Sinelogix said...

Thanks for sharing such great blog, it is useful for us.
Woocommerce Developer in USA | PHP Developer in USA | Laravel Developer in USA | Website Agency in California | Cheap Website Developer in California | Professional Website Developer in California

 
At 2:14 PM, Blogger Unknown said...


Very Useful blog. Thanks for sharing.

If anyone have to boost their website in google.please connect with the leading SEO Expert Kerala. Get an Afforadable SEO Services from the SEO Freelancer Kerala.

 
At 6:46 AM, Blogger Sinelogix said...

Nice Post. Thanks for sharing.
Woocommerce Developer in USA | PHP Developer in USA | Laravel Developer in USA | Website Agency in California | Cheap Website Developer in California | Professional Website Developer in California

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Sinelogix said...

Nice Post. Thanks for sharing.
Woocommerce Developer in USA | PHP Developer in USA | Laravel Developer in USA | Website Agency in California | Cheap Website Developer in California | Professional Website Developer in California

 
At 9:50 AM, Blogger Sinelogix said...

Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me.I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

Wordpress developer in California | Woocommerce developer in California | PHP developer in California |Magento website designer in USA | Website designer in USA | website developer in USA |

 
At 12:56 AM, Blogger Sociolabs said...

I really enjoyed reading this blog. It was explained and structured with perfection; Best Digital Marketing Company in Delhi

 
At 2:12 AM, Blogger MMFInfotech said...

Our Proficient Amazon storefront design Assist you to command your client venture and enlargement deals on Amazon. Our Amazon Storefront Design captivate the customer to produce leads. Let MMF Infotech aid you arrangement your own Amazon Brand Store Design Services that satisfies your all business requires. Our experts on Amazon online business stage can cause your business to develop and lets you advantage the most.

 
At 1:38 AM, Blogger Sunder said...

Great Content & Thanks For Sharing With oflox. But Do You Know Why GoDaddy Hosting Is Bad

 
At 8:09 AM, Blogger Mahalakshmi said...

Nice post really useful information. We are the leading web developer dubai. Hire our web development company in dubai today for web design services in dubai

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger Rebrand Malaysia said...

Terrific post! Love your work!
Branding Agency Malaysia Rebrand specialise in website design, e-commerce solutions, digital marketing, branding strategy and much more. We strongly believe that having a high-quality website doesn't necessarily need to cost a huge sum of money. Hence, we are a group of professionals that came together with a goal in mind: to deliver excellent web designs that provide value to our customers that range from startups to enterprises and large organisations.
Web Design Malaysia
Web Design KL

 
At 1:45 PM, Anonymous Joint supplements malaysia said...

What an amazing post! Keep up the good work!
joint supplement malaysia Duplex®️ strives to be your trusted healthcare brand, a brand that will never settle for less than the best. We firmly believe your health matters. At Duplex®️, we pledge to make your well being our priority. Our aim is to deliver effective, yet affordable healthcare simply because we believe good health makes living more meaningful. We are your trusted ally on the journey to attain a healthy mind, body and spirit.

 
At 1:47 PM, Anonymous broccoli sprout malaysia said...

What an amazing post! Keep up the good work!
broccoli sprout malaysia, botanical powder mix & antioxidant rich foods Duplex®️ strives to be your trusted healthcare brand, a brand that will never settle for less than the best. We firmly believe your health matters. At Duplex®️, we pledge to make your well being our priority. Our aim is to deliver effective, yet affordable healthcare simply because we believe good health makes living more meaningful. We are your trusted ally on the journey to attain a healthy mind, body and spirit.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous joint supplements singapore said...

I really appreciate your blog. Simply awesome!
Natural Joint Supplements joint supplements singapore Duplex®️ strives to be your trusted healthcare brand, a brand that will never settle for less than the best. We firmly believe your health matters. At Duplex®️, we pledge to make your well being our priority. Our aim is to deliver effective, yet affordable healthcare simply because we believe good health makes living more meaningful. We are your trusted ally on the journey to attain a healthy mind, body and spirit.

 
At 1:51 PM, Anonymous Apple Swift Developer Certification said...

Your article is very enlightening. Thanks for the effort!
Apple Swift Developer Certification RE2 Learning Solutions (Asia) Sdn Bhd was founded in 2016. The company is one of a leader in the field of professional IT training in Malaysia. Over the years, RE2 (Asia) has helped thousands of young learners, companies, government departments and agencies to improve and develop their IT skills.
apple swift certification
ios swift certification
app development with swift certification
app development with swift certification level 1

 
At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Computer School said...

Awesome post. Very inspiring!
Established in 2002, RE2 International Computer School was one of the first schools in Malaysia with a well-developed ICT curriculum for Primary School and Secondary school students. Our curriculum was heavily based on the national curriculums of The United States of America and United Kingdom.
Computer Class In Ipoh
Computer Course In Ipoh

 
At 1:54 PM, Anonymous Microsoft office specialist said...

Your topics are always interesting and educational. I enjoyed it very much!
Microsoft Office Specialist RE2 Learning Solutions (Asia) Sdn Bhd was founded in 2016. The company is one of a leader in the field of professional IT training in Malaysia. Over the years, RE2 (Asia) has helped thousands of young learners, companies, government departments and agencies to improve and develop their IT skills.
Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

 
At 1:58 AM, Blogger Brandstory Cambridge said...

Nice post really useful information. We are the leading seo agency in dubai. Hire our seo company in dubai today for seo services in dubai

 
At 1:44 AM, Blogger Abishek said...

Nice post it is really an interesting article.We are also providing the website design services in mumbai. We are the leading
website designers in mumbai
web development companies in mumbai

 
At 3:09 AM, Blogger Arya said...

You provided good information regarding digital marketing solutions. I really like what you have written. The site is bookmarked for future reference. We also offer digital marketing services in the USA. Contact us for more information.

Visit: Digital Marketing Solution in USA

 
At 2:24 AM, Blogger Abhishek Sharma said...

Do my homework help that ensures that you meet the deadline every time. It is important that the assignments are written in a way that all the questions asked by your professor are answered and all the objectives are fulfilled.
Assignment Help

 

Post a Comment

<< Home