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‘National Landing’: Yes or no?

Curbed logo Curbed 11/14/2018 Andrew Giambrone
a large green field with trees in the background: A view of Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia © AFP/Getty Images A view of Crystal City in Arlington County, Virginia

Amazon, officials, and developers are using the name to refer to the area around Northern Virginia’s HQ2 site

When Amazon revealed on Tuesday that it had settled on the Crystal City neighborhood in Arlington County, Virginia, as one of the two spots where it will put new corporate offices, it also christened the Northern Virginia site as “National Landing,” a name few had heard of.

In its announcement, the Seattle-based company described National Landing as “an urban community...located less than [three] miles from downtown” D.C. Amazon touted the area’s access to three Metro stations, commuter rail, and Reagan National Airport in addition to its overall walkability and amenities—including hotels, restaurants, shopping, and green space.

Many observers were befuddled. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s office provided some clarity in its own release, which noted that National Landing covers “portions of Pentagon City and Crystal in Arlington County...and Potomac Yard in the City of Alexandria.” Amazon, his office added, is poised to launch its growth in the area in the Crystal City and Pentagon City parts.

It turns out that the National Landing moniker is the brainchild of Arlington and Alexandria officials and developers, the Washington Business Journal reported, not Amazon’s. Officials told the newspaper that they are not formally renaming any neighborhoods; they are simply unveiling a new brand. “It’s the umbrella term” for the area, an Arlington spokeswoman said.

National Landing is hardly the first new name for a particular piece of the D.C. region, and it likely will not be the last. It even has its own website now, NationalLanding.com, run by JBG Smith, a key developer. But is it fitting? Does it have a ring to it? Sound off in the comments.

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