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Amazon plans two eco-friendly towers with parks, day care and bike path in Virginia

Arlington, Virginia

AMAZON has submitted preliminary plans for its new headquarters in Virginia's Arlington County, announcing that it will build 2.1 million square feet in a pair of 22-storey office towers that meet high energy-efficient and environmental standards and include a public plaza and storage for 200 bicycles.

In a blog post, Amazon vice-president John Schoettler said the company is looking for "a sense of place . . . an urban campus that will allow our employees to think creatively, to be a part of the surrounding community, and to remain connected to the region's unique culture and environment".

Some 50,000 square feet of retail space is planned, to include a day care centre serving employees and area residents.

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Just over an acre of open space will feature a dog park and a bicycle path that connects with existing bike paths.

Despite early reports of Amazon's interest in creating a helipad at its second headquarters, no landing site was mentioned in the blog post.

The headquarters site, now home to vacant warehouses in some areas, was originally planned as a residential-retail project called Metropolitan Park.

Amazon's change of use will require County Board approval after it works its way through several planning steps. Based on the time needed to build other large developments in Arlington, the project will likely take two or three years to complete.

Amazon, which plans to eventually employ 25,000 people in the immediate area, also plans to purchase the nearby PenPlace from its development partner JBG Smith.

That site was the subject of much discussion in 2013 when it was approved for five new office buildings, a hotel and retail space.

The Amazon headquarters is the driving force behind plans to remake the Pentagon City-Crystal City-Potomac Yard neighbourhoods, which the retail giant has jointly dubbed National Landing. WP