HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Amazon is looking at 10 locations in Virginia for its next headquarters, three of which are right here in Central Virginia.
Were the company to choose one of the three Richmond-area locations, it would bring tens of thousands of jobs to the area.
The buzz around town is that the historic Tree Hill Farm sitting on Osbourne Turnpike near New Market Road and overlooks the James River may be one of thee locations under consideration. Officials, however, would not confirm that, but 8News did get access to Amazon’s requirements for the proposal.
The proposal states that the second headquarters would bring $50,000 jobs to the area and the company expects to spend more than $5 billion buying assets such as land, buildings and equipment.
Check here for the full proposal: Amazon proposal
Residents in the area are concerned about how this will change their quiet neighborhoods and local farms. Some said that as it stands, they have more questions than they do answers.
8News spoke with Gina and Charlie Collins who have owned Victory Farms on Osbourne Turnpike for more than four years. The farm sits just down the road from the historic Tree Hill Farm.
“Keeping our farms closer to town means we have a much closer impact on our customers directly and the ability for folks to actually come to the farm, spend time, see how their food grows,” Gina said. “That’s really critical to small farmers.”
That’s why small farmers and neighbors in the area are concerned now with the prospect of Amazon coming to their area.
“We have serious history going on in this area,” Gina said. “There’s a large group within our community in Varina who’ve done a tremendous amount over the last few years to really protect this area and have smart planning in this area so that we protect farmland and that folks are able to have open spaces.”
Amazon’s new headquarters could bring 50,000 jobs with it but Gina says that means more people on the roads that are already battling traffic problems.
“Potential to have more jobs sounds lovely, but I think at some point there’s also the real potential to have serious congestion on roads that are not ready for the kind of congestion we have even now,” Gina said.
And how would that impact the bike path on Route 5? In addition to the homegrown farms and neighborhoods, these are the questions left unanswered.
Gina says they hope they can save what they love about their town.
“Many people who live in this particular zone of Varina have been here for generations, but some of us are newer to it,” Gina said. “Most of us who are newer to it moved here for a reason and really want the open space and want the farmland surrounding us and want to celebrate the history that is here,” Gina said.
Gina was just one of a dozen people who spoke with 8News reporter Roxie Bustamante, all shared the same concerns about what would happen to the local farms, businesses and quiet neighborhoods.
8News also received a statement from Virginia Economic Development Partnership that says they are working on submitting multiple locations for Amazon to consider in the proposal that is being presented next Thursday, Oct. 19.
“Virginia has a keen interest in the Amazon HQ2 opportunity. We will thoroughly address the company’s RFP requirements, which include a formidable set of site-selection criteria appropriate for a company with Amazon’s scale and ambition. VEDP is working closely with Governor McAuliffe and Commerce and Trade Secretary Haymore to prepare a robust response to Amazon’s RFP in concert with our economic development partners at the local, regional, and state levels. We will submit multiple distinct regional proposals for Virginia. For competitive reasons and to protect confidential company information, we cannot provide further details at this time.” — Stephen Moret, VEDP President and CEO