Crystal City locals expect surging property prices, heavy traffic and lots of jobs if Amazon comes

Key Points
  • Amazon is in advanced planning stages of placing its second headquarters in Crystal City, Va., The Washington Post reported Saturday.
  • Local residents anticipate an influx of jobs that will benefit the community, but fear heavy traffic and an undue burden on infrastructure.
  • Real estate professionals say now is the time to buy new property in the area.
 Crystal City Metro stop in Arlington, VA, October 19, 2018.
Astrid Riecken | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Crystal City locals were not especially surprised when The Washington Post reported Saturday that Amazon is in advanced planning stages of placing a new headquarters in the neighborhood, which is part of Northern Virginia city Arlington.

For the better part of a year, Arlington-based real estate agent Eli Tucker has been telling his clients to consider the possibility that Amazon would bring new business and higher property prices to the community, even calling Crystal City a "likely location of Amazon HQ2" in listings. Over the past few months, his clients have started bringing it up first.

"It's part of every single conversation I have with buyers and sellers," said Tucker, president of the Eli Residential Group at RLAH Real Estate. "I have people coming to me wondering if they've missed the boat with Amazon HQ2 and sellers wondering if they should sell now or if they should hold onto their property."

On Monday, media outlets including NBC News reported that that Amazon is now planning to split its new headquarters between more than one city, meaning that Crystal City would share any benefits of a new Amazon building -- as well as any drawbacks.

"The roads are already pretty clogged as it is and I can't imagine having 50,000 more people just across the city in Crystal City," D.C. resident Mark Manivog said, referencing the 50,000 jobs Amazon originally claimed HQ2 would bring to the new location. (That number is likely to be half as large if Amazon splits its new headquarters.)

"I'll be happy, there will be more jobs and more opportunity, but at the same time there is the traffic issue and there is the housing price issue."

Other locals, like Northern Virginia resident Lars Dyrud, hardly see a downside to having Amazon HQ2 in the area.

"I think it's virtually all positive," he said. He noted that local property owner JBG Smith had already "done a great job of revitalizing the area" ahead of the anticipated Amazon selection.

Real estate professionals seem to agree that if Crystal City does become a new Amazon location, housing prices will almost certainly increase. Both Tucker of RLAH and Associate Broker Aaron Seekford of Arlington Realty advise sellers that if they have the option to hold on their property until after the announcement, they could sell for more without much additional risk.

"If Amazon does not come it's not like the market is going to bottom out," Tucker said. "You can make a speculative play and if Amazon decides to go elsewhere you're still in a really strong real estate market."

Eyes on Crystal City as Amazon nears HQ2 decision
Eyes on Crystal City as Amazon nears HQ2 decision