Amazon is ramping up its HQ2 employment.

Amazon is ramping up its HQ2 employment.

By   – Staff Reporter, Washington Business Journal

Less than two months into the new year and Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) says it has more than 600 employees at its second headquarters — a fairly significant staffing jump considering there were some 400 employees there as of late December.

Those employees are currently occupying roughly 300,000 square feet in Crystal City, or about 51% of the 584,000 square feet Amazon is leasing from landlord and development partner JBG Smith Properties (NYSE: JBGS).

Yes, that is quite a bit of space per employee, nearly 500 square feet each, but Amazon plans to fill it up quickly. There are currently nearly 550 job openings for Arlington on the company’s listing page.

An Amazon spokesperson said the company began hiring for HQ2 ahead of schedule in April 2019.

Seattle-based Amazon intends to employ nearly 1,600 at its Arlington headquarters by the end of 2020, and by the close of 2021 it wants more than 3,500 workers. By 2023, when construction is expected to be completed on Amazon’s two 22-story towers at Pentagon City’s Metropolitan Park, there would be nearly 5,000 employees.

Those staffing numbers are the targets Amazon needs to reach in order to obtain workforce cash grants from Virginia — $550 million over a 15-year span.

Arlington County agreed to give Amazon about $23 million in cash grants and put about $28 million toward infrastructure improvements over the next decade if the company met office space occupancy goals. With the latest numbers, Amazon has surpassed this and next year’s office leasing targets.

The majority of the second headquarters jobs are for Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud computing subsidiary. A division of Alexa’s international business development team is located at the Crystal City office already.

Other teams are developing at the new headquarters. Just this month, Amazon listed openings for software engineers for the advertising team of Fire TV. We previously reported that a company executive said the video streaming device would find a home at HQ2.

The company is also looking for a coordination engineer for Project Kuiper, an Amazon program that hopes to bring broadband internet access to the world through thousands of low earth orbit satellites. The job, which may have been advertised elsewhere first, is based in Arlington — though it requires “significant travel.”

Amazon is also looking for software engineers to work on its e-reader division, Kindle. Specifically, they would work on HQ2’s “Print-on-Demand Expansion team,” a service that allows self-published authors on Amazon’s platform to print and sell physical versions of their books on the company’s website.