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Bowser, D.C. Officials Make Pitch for Amazon

The Anacostia Riverfront, NoMa-Union Station, Capitol Hill East and the Shaw-Howard University are the four areas District officials have proposed as potential sites of a new Amazon headquarters.

Washington is among several big cities — including New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Austin, Texas — seeking to land the e-commerce and cloud computing company which seeks to build a second headquarters to go along with its Seattle location.

Bidding closed on Oct. 19 and Amazon officials are expected to make a decision early next year and begin occupying space by late 2019. The winning city for the estimated $5 billion project will not only land the distinction of the having the second headquarters for Amazon, but forecasters said it should be a major economic boost.

Amazon promises to create 50,000 new jobs paying on average more than $100,000 annually.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the four locations District officials propose meets Amazon’s needs.

“These locations present unparalleled opportunity for Amazon to create interconnected transit-oriented and sustainable campuses with access to riverfront and green spaces,” Bowser said. “Our city’s growing tech scene, talented and diverse workforce, rich culture and inclusive environment already made Washington, D.C., an ideal location for Amazon HQ2, and now people can begin to think more specifically about how the tech company will fit into our community.”

In the city’s proposal to Amazon, Bowser also highlighted that Forbes Magazine named D.C. the No. 1 city for women in tech this year and Bon Appetit named the District the top restaurant city in 2016.

The proposal also noted that Forbes named Washington the “Coolest City,” in 2014; SmartAsset named D.C. the No. 1 Best City for Tech last year; and the city also earned distinctions of being No. 1 for women’s employment and earnings and being the first LEED Platinum City in the world.

In pushing the Anacostia Riverfront, city officials said it offers the best of two worlds: a breathtaking river corridor with more than 1,200 acres of parklands integrated into a high-density and transit-oriented community that’s accessible by walking, biking, metro, ferry, or even kayak.

“Anacostia Riverfront provides a space where urban living meets water, people meet parks and history meets progress,” city officials said in its proposal.

The NoMa-Union Station counts among D.C.’s most connected neighborhoods with green contemporary spaces that mingle with boutique retail experiences and a vibrant maker history.

NoMa resides between Union Station, the U.S. Capitol, Shaw, H Street and Bloomingdale and counts as one of the District’s fastest growing neighborhoods with more than 100,000 daily pedestrians, 54,000 office workers and 44,000 residents.

Potential HQ2 office space includes Union Market, a former warehouse district that honors its historic culinary origins with Michelin-rated food as well as music, retail, hotel, office and residential spaces, officials said.

“The NoMa Union Station area presents an unparalleled opportunity to create an interconnected, transit-oriented and sustainably rich campus for Amazon HQ2,” Bowser said in a statement.

Capitol Hill East offers a consolidated site where a riverfront ecosystem connects with the east end of Capitol Hill, a neighborhood well known for hosting many of the nation’s leaders while serving as a permanent home to thousands of Washingtonians, city officials said.

The site’s recently initiated Phase One development will create 350 apartment units, nearly 40,000 square feet of retail and a dedicated town square.

Capitol Hill East would allow Amazon HQ2 to become be an unparalleled riverside campus in an urban enclave, where the originality of place spurs originality of thought.

Meanwhile, the Shaw-Howard University proposal is centered around one of the most dynamic D.C neighborhoods as well as a world-class university.

Situated within the broader U Street, Shaw and Howard University areas, the development sites are steeped in the music, cultural and educational history at the heart of D.C’s African-American community.

The revival of Shaw and U Street has transformed the area into a destination neighborhood for retail, restaurants and restored theaters, and today is home to a thriving nightlife scene for a young and diverse population, officials said in its proposal.

The Howard University sites offer substantial Georgia Avenue frontage and serene areas adjacent to a row house residential neighborhood.

“At the center of the Shaw-Howard University neighborhood, Amazon HQ2 will be able to experience a mix of old and new, quaint and eclectic, food and fun,” Bowser said.

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Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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