Showcasing Smart Growth Success: Amazon HQ Field Experience at RLM

Showcasing Smart Growth Success: Amazon HQ Field Experience at RLM

Check out the recap video by clicking the image.

Arlington, Virginia has led the country on Smart Growth for more than half a century. As a result, the County has seen tremendous growth, and since 2016, has consistently been ranked one of the top places in the country to live.

In 2017, Arlington’s decades of work led to a historic economic development success: attracting Amazon’s second headquarters.

To kick off the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings on Saturday, May 4, attendees had the opportunity to take a walking tour of Arlington’s National Landing neighborhood – home of Amazon’s HQ2 – and hear from local experts on how the area has become a growing hub for walkability, multimodal transportation, nightlife, amenities, and more.

The REALTOR® Party Community Outreach team worked with the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS® (NVAR) to showcase this Smart Growth success story in their backyard. Following a walking tour with the National Landing Business Improvement District, partners including Arlington Economic Development, the Arlington Planning Department, the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, and the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance gave attendees a full picture of the process, from highlighting the benefits of Smart Growth and principles of civic engagement to addressing affordable housing needs and economic development priorities for residents and businesses alike.

The afternoon closed with a reception hosted by NVAR in National Landing, providing attendees a venue to share ideas and reflections gleaned from the day, as well as to connect directly with local real estate, government, and community leaders.

“We were thrilled to bring together representatives from REALTOR® associations across the nation to be inspired by the history of Smart Growth planning in Arlington and to see firsthand how it lays the groundwork for generations of development and transition,” said NAR’s Hannah Dannenfelser, Manager, Community Outreach Grants & Resources. “We also put a spotlight on local Placemaking projects galvanized by Amazon’s arrival to inspire participants to lead placemaking initiatives in their own communities.”

“This opportunity to partner with NAR and highlight the amazing work being done in National Landing, Arlington, and across the Northern Virginia region was one of the highlights of the REALTORS® Legislative Meetings for myself and the leadership of NVAR,” said Josh Veverka, NVAR’s Senior Director of Government Affairs. “To be able to present our development successes, along with the public policy challenges a vibrant, growing community faces when bringing in a transformational economic development project, was a tremendous learning opportunity for all of our REALTOR® leaders who attended from across the country.”

Reviews from those leaders were overwhelmingly positive. “We really got to understand some of the wonderful things [that the community is] doing in terms of collaboration with community leaders, with business partners, and with corporate citizens to bring in development opportunities,” said Nate Johnson, NAR’s Vice President of Advocacy, who participated in the tour.

“We hope attendees will draw from the lessons learned in Arlington to drive growth in their communities, as well as consider how they can leverage the REALTOR® Party’s Community Outreach grants and resources to support these efforts,” Dannenfelser said.

To learn more about the REALTOR® Party’s Community Outreach Program, including Smart Growth initiatives, click here.

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