April 29, 2019 / 4:43 PM / in 3 months

Amazon starts recruiting and leases office for Virginia 'HQ2'

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Monday said it had leased office space and posted several jobs for its second headquarters outside Washington, D.C., the start of more than a decade of investment and hiring that cities across North America had sought.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, Jan. 19, 2019. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

In a blog post, the world’s largest online retailer said it was on track to create 400 jobs at the future Arlington, Virginia, campus this year. It said the new hires will work out of a temporary space on Crystal Drive in June, as the company aims to open its first building in the fall. The drive is in Crystal City, part of Arlington.

The move comes after Amazon cleared a key funding vote in Arlington in March, when local officials approved a financial package worth an estimated $51 million amid a small but vocal opposition. The $51 million is a small fraction of the $481 million promised by the county and a $750 million package offered by the state.

Detailing Amazon’s plans in the region in March, Holly Sullivan, the company’s worldwide head of economic development said the internet retailer will invest approximately $2.5 billion, create more than 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000, which will generate more than $3.2 billion in tax revenue.

The company has said it will lease 45,500 square feet (4,227 square meters) of space from real estate company JBG Smith, which has finalized three leases and two sale agreements for buildings in the region with Amazon.

Amazon’s jobs had been coveted by hundreds of communities from Canada to Mexico since 2017, when the Seattle-based company announced it would spend more than $5 billion and create up to 50,000 positions at a second campus dubbed “HQ2.”

The company ultimately split the prize between greater Washington and New York, the U.S. political and financial capitals, after more than a year of contestants’ publicity stunts and promises of tax breaks to win over Amazon.

In February, Amazon scrapped its plans for New York after local opposition to its proposed campus.

So far, the jobs posted include four focused on procurement and one in human resources.

Ardine Williams, who authored Amazon’s blog post, said she had recently moved to Arlington from Seattle and is in charge of workforce development at the company.

Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington and Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; editing by Tom Brown, Phil Berlowitz and Sandra Maler

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