Over the past year, we’ve made significant progress at Metropolitan Park, the first phase of our second headquarters (HQ2) in Arlington, Virginia. Beyond the office space that HQ2 will provide for the 25,000 employees who will soon begin to call this place home, we’re also looking forward to the retail establishments, restaurants, green spaces, parks, and walking and biking paths that are beginning to take shape at Met Park for the entire community to enjoy.
Our goal is to help create and foster a vibrant 18-hour district, one that our neighbors see as a destination where they can dine, shop, and relax. As part of this goal, we’re excited to share that four more local small businesses will be setting up shop at Met Park in 2023, joining the already announced District Dogs.
Meet the four small businesses coming soon to Met Park.
Sunny Miller created HUSTLE during the height of the pandemic, when she saw a desire for community in a time when many were feeling disconnected. What started as an online fitness platform quickly transformed into the hybrid, in-person, and virtual cycling and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program that is now HUSTLE.
Together with her co-founding instructor, Lorenzo McFarland, and a strong team of individuals, Miller started looking for a permanent home for her fitness studio about a year ago.
“We were thrilled when Amazon approached HUSTLE with the opportunity to open our first brick-and-mortar location in Met Park at HQ2,” said Miller. “I am honored to be a part of this project highlighting women- and minority-owned local businesses. With hard work and consistency, anything is possible—we can’t wait to show that to the community at HQ2.”
HUSTLE will bring its energy and power to HQ2 in 2023 as the first fitness studio to open in Met Park.
Conte’s Bike Shop
Conte’s Bike Shop has been a mainstay of the Eastern Seaboard bicycling community since it opened its first family-owned shop in Newport News, Virginia in 1957. In the subsequent decades, owners David Conte and Wayne Souza have continued to advance Conte’s dedication to serving and improving the local communities in which it operates.
“We had been following the news around Amazon coming to Arlington and knew this would be a once-in-a-generation opportunity to serve one of our home communities,” said Souza.
Arlington had a rich bicycling culture before Amazon committed to building and expanding bicycling infrastructure and accessibility in the area, including the construction of more than half a mile of new, protected bike lanes to help expand and enhance existing bike routes, and more than 900 interior and exterior bike storage stalls across HQ2. Conte and Souza were especially attracted by Amazon’s commitment to encouraging employees to ride bikes to work and be more conscious about sustainability, and they wanted to be a part of that offering for the community.
“Conte’s and Metropolitan Park fit together like a hand in a glove,” said Conte. “We believe this will be a great place to share our passion to transform people’s lives through cycling and to further perpetuate our niche, which is bringing the cycling experience to Virginia since 1957.”
Denise Lee immigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines in 1998. Growing up in a Filipino household, food was always at the center of the conversation. So naturally, when she moved to the U.S., she went to culinary school. After years in sales and catering, she found inspiration in a Friday night tradition.
“My husband and our two boys would go out for burgers, and I always thought, ‘I could do this—create a funky neighborhood spot with great burgers,’” she said.
Lee built Social Burger in Vienna—a small community about 12 miles from Arlington—and giving back to her community is core to her philosophy as a business owner.
“Every Wednesday, we donate 40 meals that customers have purchased to The Lamb Center, a local homeless shelter in Fairfax,” said Lee. “Since 2020, we’ve provided more than 6,000 meals to people in need. If we’re successful at HQ2, we can make programs like this grow.”
Bringing a great burger to the community is important, but there’s something even more important to Lee.
“There is so much dignity in working, and I’ve seen firsthand how having a job can help a person advance in life,” she said. “My hope is that together, we can bring great jobs to the people living in and around HQ2.”
South Block was born and bred in Arlington; its name is inspired by its first location on the southside of a block in Clarendon, an Arlington neighborhood. Since South Block opened in 2011, the juice shop known for its açai bowls has expanded to 11 locations in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia region (the DMV), and owner Amir Mostafavi and the South Block team have been on a mission that doubles as the company’s motto—to change people’s lives, “one block at a time.”
“We’re excited about anything that involves collaborating and creating with others in our communities,” said South Block VP of Marketing Lindsey Parry. “We’re doing just that by joining Sunny, David, Wayne, and Denise to bring health, wellness, and good vibes to this area.”
South Block has invested in the health of Arlington community members since its early days, and that continued through the pandemic. Mostafavi started Fruitful Planet, a nonprofit that provides fresh fruits and vegetables to food insecure communities and people in need, and South Block uses a portion of sales to support the DMV community.
“We believe small acts have big impacts, and when we work together as a community we can make a big difference,” said Mostafavi.
“We’re a small company that has had continued success because of the foundation we laid early on to give back to our community," added Parry. "We’re grateful for the community support and thrilled to bring that commitment to HQ2.”
Each of these small businesses share a commonality with each other—and Amazon: They strive to make a positive impact on the communities in which they operate. Amazon is excited to bring these businesses and more to HQ2, helping to build a vibrant, buzzing neighborhood.
Local businesses looking for more information about bringing their goods and services to the dedicated retail space within HQ2 can email Amazon’s Global Real Estate and Facilities team at firstname.lastname@example.org.