Circle the block all you want, there is no view of Mount Rainier or Puget Sound. You can’t see the Cascades when you look that way, or the Olympics when you look this way. There aren’t even any Spheres in this non-Seattle version of Amazonia.
But it is a lovely, sunny day. And there is a drone that lands on a building awning just above street level and then flies off with a package in its grip. This is the future of Amazon in National Landing, the community to be occupied by the tech giant in Northern Virginia as one of two HQ2s announced Tuesday.
Artistic renderings and a virtual video tour of the community, provided by JBG Smith, a Washington, D.C.-area property owner and developer, offer some idea of the tech utopia being envisioned in what used to be called Crystal City.
The 3-minute video is about 2 1/2 minutes of street-level views of fancy retailers and restaurants as we’re driven from one end of town to the next. Every car looks like a Tesla or a Porsche. There are people milling about everywhere, as they tend to do in renderings.
The drone swoops in at the 1:23 mark as we hang a left off Crystal Drive and head west on 15th Street South. Carrying a brown box, it flies over the roadway and a couple cyclists and disappears a few blocks later atop a tall building. The FAA is probably a 5-minute drive away in the nation’s capital. Hope they cleared that thing.
Here’s how JBG Smith describes National Landing:
It is situated across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and is one of the region’s best-located urban communities. It is defined by its central and easily accessible location, its adjacency to Reagan National Airport, and its existing mixed-use environment, including offices, apartments and hotels.
National Landing enjoys ready access to a deep pool of young, highly educated and tech-savvy workers, an abundant supply of affordable office space, diverse housing options, an unparalleled transportation network, and plentiful green space.
A Central District Retail project will serve as the hub of nightlife, it seems. The approximately 130,000-gross-square-foot entertainment and shopping destination will be anchored by a 49,000-square-foot Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a specialty grocer, restaurants, bars and other experiential offerings, according to JBG.
The developer will also accelerate planning, entitlement, and development of several projects around transportation, “including the construction of additional entrances to the Metro stations at Crystal City and Potomac Yard, improvements to Route 1, a connector pedestrian bridge from National Landing to Reagan National Airport, and a transitway expansion supporting Pentagon City, Crystal City and Potomac Yard.”
And finally, a rendering for Amazon would not be complete without a few Whole Foods grocery stores sprinkled about, at the bottom of office or residential towers.