Amazon is delaying construction on its biggest real estate project.
Bloomberg first reported Friday that Amazon will pause construction on its massive “HQ2” second headquarters project in the Washington D.C. area where it aims to hire 25,000 workers by 2030.
Later this year Amazon will start moving employees into Metropolitan Park, the first phase of the headquarters campus that will still be completed, Bloomberg reported.
But a larger PenPlace phase across the street, which includes a spiraling centerpiece called The Helix, is being put on hold.
“We’ve already hired more than 8,000 employees in HQ2 and we’re excited to welcome them to our new Met Park campus this June,” Amazon real estate chief John Schoettler said in a statement to GeekWire. “We’re always evaluating space plans to make sure they fit our business needs and to create a great experience for employees, and since Met Park will have space to accommodate more than 14,000 employees, we’ve decided to shift the groundbreaking of PenPlace (the second phase of HQ2) out a bit.”
The decision to pause construction comes as Amazon continues to navigate its hybrid work policies. Last month the company told corporate and tech employees that it wants them back in the office at least three days per week.
Last year Amazon paused construction on office towers in Bellevue, Wash., nearby its Seattle headquarters, to study the impact of hybrid work. It also paused construction in Nashville at the same time.
The company is cutting costs amid the larger tech downturn. It laid off about 5% of its corporate workforce, or 18,000 employees, late last year and into 2023.
Amazon launched its highly-publicized HQ2 sweepstakes in 2017 as it searched for a location for a second North American headquarters.
Amazon originally said it would split a 50,000-person second headquarters between Northern Virginia and New York City, but it pulled out of its NYC plans after political backlash.
Amazon has said it views Northern Virginia as a long-term investment, where the company remains committed to the $2.5 billion project.
The tech giant is poised to add as many jobs in Bellevue as it plans for Virginia, with the city just 10 miles east of Seattle becoming a much closer second headquarters location.