National Landing is an area in Northern Virginia encompassing parts of the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods of Arlington County and the Potomac Yard neighborhood in the city of Alexandria that has been announced as the location for Amazon.com, Inc.'s HQ2 headquarters project. While redevelopment efforts in the area had already begun as early as 2014, the cross-jurisdictional neighborhood was branded and announced as "National Landing" in 2018 as a part of local economic development plans to bring Amazon HQ2 to the area. The announcement also included plans to build a graduate-school satellite university campus of Virginia Tech in the area. The "National Landing" name derives, in part, from the area's proximity to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
When the name "National Landing" was announced on November 13, 2018 in concert with the Amazon HQ2 launch, it was met with significant confusion, and mockery since locals had never heard this name before and did not feel that "National Landing" was a real place. Prior to the Amazon announcement, "National Landing" was not used by locals.
While initial comments suggested Amazon was changing the name of Crystal City unilaterally, local officials explained that the region included more than just Crystal City, and that the name and branding campaign came from the local jurisdictions and their economic development committees (Arlington Economic Development and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership), in partnership with Amazon and developer JBG Smith. The rebranding is not expected to change the names of the existing neighborhoods, like Crystal City, but instead to serve as an umbrella term.
Oakville Triangle redevelopment and Virginia Tech Innovation CampusEdit
Even before the Amazon HQ2 announcement, development in the National Landing area had been in the works. In June 2013, The Blackstone Group acquired industrial properties from First Potomac Realty Trust. StonebridgeCarras, on behalf of landowner The Blackstone Group was employed to redevelop the Oakville Triangle, a 20-acre industrial park. Consultations about the Oakville Triangle development began with the local community groups in 2014 with groundbreaking to occur summer of 2017 and first 1 million-square-foot phase to open in Summer 2019.
In March 2018, the Oakville Triangle project reportedly stalled, while Virginia Tech officials met with Amazon to discuss "Project Cooper," Virginia Tech's plan for an "innovation neighborhood." On November 3, 2018, Virginia Tech signed a memorandum of understanding with the City of Alexandria to put its new Innovation Center at Oakville Triangle, a decision announced in tandem with the HQ2 announcement on November 13.
Potomac Yard redevelopmentEdit
In Summer 2015, developer JBG Companies indicated a desire to begin the process for redevelopment of North Potomac Yard. In June 2016, Alexandria completed revisions to the 2010 plan and adopted a new the North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan. This plan included plans for a new Metro station, the Potomac Yard station.  The plan also "anticipates approximately 1.3 million square feet of mixed-use development to include office, hotel, residential, and concentrated areas of retail within a 1/4 mile of the new Metrorail station."
The area includes an existing Washington Metro station at Crystal City as well as the planned Potomac Yard station. The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail system also has a Crystal City station. The Metroway, a bus rapid transit, runs through the area, with 15 stations covering the area from Arlington's Pentagon City station to Alexandria's Braddock Road station (south of National Landing), with some of this route located in a exclusive busway. Future planning for the area includes a pedestrian bridge to connect National Landing to Reagan National Airport and improvements to the existing Metro rail stations.
- Strupp, Julie. "Forget Crystal City, Amazon is coming to "National Landing"". ggwash.org. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
National Landing will be the newly defined interconnected and walkable neighborhood that encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City and the northern portion of Potomac Yard."
- Vincent, Brandi (November 13, 2018). "Amazon introduces 'National Landing' headquarters to confused Washington-area residents". Retrieved November 13, 2018.
National Landing was not an invention of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, but was instead dreamed up by local economic development officials, who created it as part of their attempt to lure the e-commerce giant.
- Korff, Jay (November 13, 2018). "Duo delivers Amazon's HQ2 and 'National Landing' moniker to Crystal City". Retrieved November 14, 2018.
To create a cohesive brand that Amazon would buy, Landrum and Winn renamed this space "National Landing" since the Nation’s Capital and Reagan National Airport are so close.
- "Virginia Tech to establish $1 billion Innovation Center in Alexandria as part of Amazon deal". Virginia Business. November 13, 2018. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Vincent, Brandi (November 13, 2018). "Amazon introduces 'National Landing' headquarters to confused Washington-area residents". NBC News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
- Taylor, Dan (November 14, 2018). "Arlingtonians Mock 'National Landing' Name For Crystal City". Patch. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
some are doubtful about the new name of "National Landing." At the very least, it will take a little while for residents to get used to it -- and many are already taking to social media to poke fun at it.
- Poon, Linda (November 2018). "Can Amazon Really Rename a Neighborhood?". City Lab. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
Northern Virginia’s National Landing—a neighborhood that basically nobody in the Washington area had ever heard of before. That part, at least, raised some eyebrows.
- Miranda, Leticia (November 13, 2018). "Amazon Said Its New HQ Will Be In "National Landing." Locals Say That's Not A Real Place". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
Amazon will call the Washington, DC, metro area neighborhood of National Landing its new home next year. The thing is, no one seems to have heard of National Landing before today.
- Swalec, Andrea. "National Landing? Amazon Announcement Spurs Jokes, Confusion in DC Area". NBC4 Washington. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
National Landing is not a place name in wide use in the D.C. area, as Twitter users were quick to point out
- Feldman, Kate (November 13, 2018). "Amazon seems to be changing Crystal City's name to 'National Landing' after announcing headquarter locations". New York Daily News. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
The name came from the Arlington Economic Development and the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership “in an attempt to create a sense of community amid a maze of neighborhoods across two counties,” according to WJLA.
- Strupp, Julie (November 13, 2018). "Forget Crystal City, Amazon is coming to "National Landing"". Greater Greater Washington. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
Reporting from Washingtonian indicates that local jurisdictions, not Amazon, are responsible for the new name: ... The Washington Business Journal confirms that the name came from jurisdictions and refers to the regional partnership, not existing neighborhoods. ... National Landing officially includes the Crystal City and Pentagon City neighborhoods in Arlington and Potomac Yard in Alexandria. It was proposed as part of the joint bid between the two jurisdictions, according to Arlington County spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell.... Rep. Don Beyer's office confirmed it is not an official name change but a new brand for a region that encompassed several existing areas.
- Poon, Linda (November 2018). "Can Amazon Really Rename a Neighborhood?". City Lab. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
National Landing, in essence, represents an aggressive rebranding campaign from Amazon and its new partners in Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia. ... To complicate things more, the “National Landing” brand is intended to encompass those three neighborhoods, but they’ll each retain their distinct names, too. So Amazon will be in both National Landing and Crystal City.
- Barakat, Matthew (November 16, 2018). "Amazon's Virginia HQ2 going to 'National Landing' — a place that doesn't, technically, exist". Chicago Tribune/ Associated Press. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
Those neighborhoods — Crystal City and Pentagon City in Arlington County, and Potomac Yard in the city of Alexandria — span multiple jurisdictions, so the name allowed Alexandria and Arlington to work cooperatively without marketing one locality over another. ... Winn said there's no intention to supplant or override the name of Crystal City, which draws its name from a big chandelier in one of the first apartment buildings to go up in the area in the 1960s.
- Maties, Adrian. "First Potomac to Sell Industrial Properties for $259M as Part of Strategic Plan". Commercial Property Executive. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Alexandria Planning Commission Public Hearing on Oakville Triangle". Port City Wire. January 5, 2016. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- staff, wtop (April 28, 2014). "Makeover for Potomac Yard's ugly stepsister". WTOP News. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Neibauer, Michael (February 10, 2016). "StonebridgeCarras to transform industrial park opposite Potomac Yard". Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Oakville Triangle (schematics)". Cooper Carry. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Arcieri, Katie (March 5, 2018). "Status check: Don't hold your breath for Oakville Triangle to get underway". Washington Business Journal.
- Demmitt, Jacob (November 18, 2018). "Inside Project Cooper: How Virginia Tech helped land Amazon without the biggest incentive check". Roanoke Times. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
By early spring, university officials were ready to meet with the company and present their thoughts. “I remember talking to the Amazon folks and they said we don’t really need a campus, per se. We need a neighborhood, kind of an innovation neighborhood,” Sands said. “We said, ‘That’s what we’ve been planning to do, so it’s perfect.’”
- "North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan 2017 Update". City of Alexandria Virginia. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
In 2015, the North Potomac Yard developer representative, JBG Companies, indicated a desire to begin the process for Phase I redevelopment of North Potomac Yard, which would necessitate amendments to the 2010 Plan.
- Dillow, Frank (August 1, 2016). "Railroad Switching Yard on Banks of the Potomac: Re-emerging as "Gateway to Alexandria"". Northern Virginia Realtors. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Stewart, Kathy (October 15, 2017). "Alexandria council approves amended plan for Potomac Yard condos". WTOP news. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "Keeping the Big Idea Alive: North Potomac Yard - Alexandria". American Planning Association (Capitol Area chapter). Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- "North Potomac Yard Small Area Plan 2017 Update". City of Alexandria, VA. Retrieved November 19, 2018.
- Lazo, Luz (June 14, 2016). "After delays, plan to build Potomac Yard Metro station project moves forward". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
- Warfield, Marcel; Nuyen, Suzanne (November 13, 2018). "What is the new National Landing neighborhood for Amazon's HQ2?". Retrieved November 14, 2018.
Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yard Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport;