According to reports from Bloomberg and CNBC, the delays focus on future construction of phase 2 at the massive project which at one time was considered as a possibility for Research Triangle Park when the project emerged in 2017.
“We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees,” John Schoettler, Amazon’s head of real estate, said in a statement. “And since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace out a bit.”
Met Park, or Metropolitan Park, is nearly complete and includes two office towers that are nearly complete.
Pen Place includes an iconic office tower – “The Helix” – and other buildings.
Some 8,000 workers are already in place in the D.C. area, CNBC noted. The overall project was intended to house some 25,000 workers.
However, Amazon is in the process of laying off thousands of workers.
Amazon: Decision not linked to layoffs
The company’s decision to pause construction comes just two months after Amazon CEO Andy Jassy confirmed the company would be eliminating more than 18,000 jobs amid a broader cost-cutting effort after Amazon hired rapidly in the early years of the pandemic.
Zach Goldsztejn, an Amazon spokesperson, told CNN that the pause is not a result or indicative of role eliminations at the company. Goldsztejn said Amazon’s long-term intention and commitment regarding HQ2 remains unchanged, including the company’s plans to bring 25,000 corporate and tech jobs to the new headquarters.
Amazon’s move comes as a growing number of tech companies rethink their real estate footprint and investments, amid a downturn in the tech industry driven by a shift in pandemic demand and broader economic uncertainty. Facebook-parent Meta, Microsoft, Salesforce and Snap have each shuttered offices or announced plans to cut back on real estate in recent months.
The effect of those pullbacks can already be felt across the country, from Atlanta, where Microsoft paused development of a new campus, to San Francisco, where some local businesses say they are facing the ripple effects of remote work and multiple tech office closures.
Some community members have said the tech pullback feels like “broken promises” and raised concerns about the potential fallout from these moves in their neighborhoods.
In his statement, Schoettler said Amazon remains committed to Arlington, including “investing in affordable housing, funding computer science education in schools across the region, and supporting dozens of local nonprofits.”
“We appreciate the support of all our partners and neighbors, and look forward to continuing to work together in the years ahead,” he said.
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CNN contributed to this report.