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Amazon taps brakes on HQ2

Amazon is postponing construction on a key part of its big office complex in the DC area. HQ2 was originally designed to house 25,000 employees, but now it’s unclear when Amazon will meet its hiring goal.

Amazon’s search for a second headquarters made a big splash in 2017. Dozens of cities competed for the jobs and economic boost HQ2 promised.

A few years ago, Amazon's real estate chief, John Schoettler, described a meeting with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos about choosing an HQ2 location.

"When we were meeting with Jeff, talking about HQ2, he said to me then, 'John I really want to make it difficult. I really want it to be something that is so unique and has never been done before,'" Schoettler said.

Now, the difficult part might just be completing HQ2.

The first phase of the project will open in June with room for thousands of employees. But groundbreaking on Phase 2 is halted indefinitely. That second phase includes a building Amazon dubbed "The Helix," an eye-catching centerpiece akin to the Spheres in Seattle.

The pause comes as Amazon slows down hiring, lays off employees, and adjusts to a new hybrid work model.

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