The county board members of Arlington, Virginia might be doing a happy dance right about now, because it looks like Amazon is researching the shortlisted “Northern Virginia” area as a possible location for its second headquarters, HQ2.
Thanks to some seriously top-notch sleuthing from local news source ARLnow.com, the outlet figured out that one of its articles was receiving an unusually high amount of traffic from an internal page featured on Amazon.com — one that is not visible to the public.
The article Amazon employees were viewing? A December 2017 article about Arlington’s environmental building accolades. The piece, entitled “County Wins Top Environmental Award from U.S. Green Building Council,” received over 6,000 page views and 3,500 unique visitors who were referred from an Amazon web page that cannot be reached normal public. The page is presumably only available to Amazon employees through an intranet.
Perhaps Amazon employees are checking out the green qualifications of a potential new home?
In January, Amazon announced a shortlist of candidates for its new HQ2 campus, which it says will bring thousands of jobs, and economic upsides a-plenty, to whichever city Amazon selects. Washington D.C. and two D.C. adjacent areas (Northern Virginia, VA and Montgomery County, MD) snagged three of the coveted spots, and there has been much speculation that Jeff Bezos has his sights set inside the Beltway. Arlington, VA is encompassed in Northern Virginia.
In its RFP for HQ2, Amazon emphasized its energy efficient and green building design preferences, saying it “will develop HQ2 with a dedication to sustainability.” Amazon did not specifically list building sustainability in its section on “Key preferences and decision drivers” — but it did list “site/building” opportunities among its top criterion. So given Amazon’s stated commitment to sustainable buildings, Arlington’s environmental policies, and its development of buildings that get a U.S. Green Building Council stamp of approval, could give it an edge.
Directing loads of Amazon employee web traffic to one article obviously doesn’t seal the deal for the new Amazon HQ2 — who knows what other articles and cities employees are checking out.
But hey, it’s definitely not a bad sign. Plus, who doesn’t love solving an internet mystery. Kudos, ARL Now. Kudos.