A Northern Virginia country board on Saturday unanimously approved a $23 million incentives package for Amazon to build a new headquarters in the area. Meaning, the largest online retail company Amazon is moving to Northern Virginia after winning the last approval for an incentive plan it sought for building a new headquarters in the Crystal City.
The Arlington County Board’s 5-0 vote will not only lead to tens of thousands of good jobs but will also bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue to the city. However, many protesters who repeatedly shouted “shame”, to the decision taken by the Board, said that the lower-income residents would be driven out by rising rents. “This vote today is about racial justice,” Danny Cendejas, a member of the La ColectiVA advocacy group, said, according to WRC-TV. “We have been talking to folks in communities of color, immigrant communities. We have been hearing consistently the concerns about gentrification.”
At the same time, the Board Chair Christian Dorsey nullified these concerns about increased rents, traffic congestion, and school overcrowding by saying, “I am confident we can manage those impacts.” With that said, the state of Virginia has already approved a $750 million incentives package for Amazon, which plans to create at least 25,000 jobs over 12 years in the Washington suburb.
Feeling excited about the future of Arlington County with Amazon, Board Vice-Chair Libby Garvey said, “Arlington has done a lot of changing in the 40 plus years I have been here and we are ready for this change… We’ve planned for this growth, we’ve planned for these jobs, but we did not expect to get so much of this in one agreement.” Amazon had abandoned its New York City headquarters plan last month after opposition from activists angered by incentives promised by state and city politicians.