Clark Construction joined Amazon leaders, Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, Arlington County officials, and project stakeholders on June 15 to commemorate the successful completion and opening of the first phase of Amazon’s second headquarters, Metropolitan Park. Clark led construction of the project, which includes the core & shell and interior fit-out of two 22-story office buildings, retail space for 14 locally-owned businesses, 2.5 acres of reimagined public space and more than .5 mile of protected bike lanes. Clark delivered the project on schedule in April 2023, marking the end of a three-year construction effort.
The Metropolitan Park buildings, dubbed Merlin and Jasper, currently serve as home base to 8,000 Amazon employees and have the capacity to accommodate 12,500 employees as the company expands its local presence. The first wave of Amazon team members occupied the buildings in late May; employees will continue to transition into the new space throughout the summer months. The project’s curated, modern work and communal spaces are intended to spur collaboration and innovative thinking, two hallmarks of the multinational technology company.
Designed to achieve LEED® Platinum certification, Metropolitan Park runs with zero operational carbon emissions and is powered by 100% renewable energy. Sustainable elements, such as sunshades, operable windows, low-flow fixtures, gas appliances, greywater and stormwater heat exchange systems, on-site bicycle storage, and nearly 2.7 acres of outdoor terraces with native vegetation, are woven throughout the buildings. These and other features play an important role in upholding Amazon’s Climate Pledge commitment to be net zero by 2040.
Metropolitan Park’s office buildings are anchored by 2.5 acres of public open space, including a children's playground, an edible garden, dog parks, a public art installation, and forest walk punctuated with more than 160 varieties of flora native to Virginia. The park area serves as a connection point to the surrounding neighborhood and provides an inviting place for Amazonians and the local community, alike, to enjoy.
More than just a headquarters, Amazon’s new HQ2 is a vital community asset. Clark worked closely with Amazon leaders, and partners JBG Smith, the Seneca Group, ZGF Architects, Gensler, James Corner Field, and NBBJ, as well as hundreds of trade contracts to achieve the company’s vision for a vibrant community hub. “Clark’s commitment to safety and excellence is aligned with the values we hold close at Amazon.” stated Holly Sullivan, Amazon’s vice president of world-wide economic development during the project’s ribbon cutting ceremony. “Over the past four years, the Clark team and their contractors have worked to build an incredible place for our employees, and our community partners, our neighbors … and our dogs.”
At 2.1 million square feet, Metropolitan Park is among the largest construction projects in the Capital Region. Built during the Covid-19 pandemic, the project provided a significant economic boon to the region during an unprecedented time. Clark embraced its commitment to ensure the project would create transformative opportunities and tangible economic impact in the region. From the outset, project leaders prioritized building a diverse team composed of the region’s top businesses and skilled craft workers. In total, more than 9,600 men and women contributed to the construction effort, with 97% of those individuals residing in the DC Metropolitan area. Within the projects’ major construction scopes, 84% of contracts were awarded to local businesses, including more than 100 small-, woman-, veteran-, and minority-owned firms.
Located in the heart of National Landing, Metropolitan Park was a focal point for thousands of community members who lived and worked just steps from the jobsite. From groundbreaking through grand opening, Clark worked closely with Amazon to deploy an intentional community engagement strategy to ensure transparency throughout the construction process, foster two-way communication with project neighbors, build trust, and cultivate excitement for the project as it took shape. The effort resulted in a more informed and engaged community.
“Building a relationship with the local community was a shared priority for both Clark and Amazon,” said Jeff King, Clark vice president and project director for Metropolitan Park. “Through virtual town halls, monthly community service activities, participation in local farmers markets, trivia contests, construction videos, our Clark Barks dog treat program, and more than 100 construction updates, we aimed to build a connection with project neighbors, and positively impact the Arlington community beyond the physical structures we delivered. I’m incredibly proud of what we were able to accomplish.”