Amazon, which had previously caused a frenzy by making each state fight to host its next major headquarters, has put the brakes on its HQ2 in Virginia. After laying off over half of the original 25,000 jobs promised, the company has postponed construction on a trio of 22-story office towers. Bloomberg was the first to report the news.

Metropolitan Park, the first construction phase, is almost finished and is set to open in June, accommodating approximately 8,000 workers, assuming the new “three days a week” rule stays in place. However, the second phase, PenPlace, which was expected to commence construction around now, has been delayed indefinitely.

Furthermore, the postponement includes the “Helix” building, a companion to the “Spheres” in Seattle, which resembles a shaft and is locally known by a different name.

Amazon has announced that it will be closing its Northern Virginia office and relocating employees to its nearby Arlington headquarters. Although the company claims that this is not a result of role eliminations, it comes on the heels of a recent layoff of 18,000 people across the company. It is unclear whether Virginia employees were among those laid off.

This move is not the only sign of Amazon’s uncertain office space strategy. In its Seattle headquarters, entire floors are empty, and construction has halted on new office towers in Bellevue and Nashville. Many tech companies were constructing large offices before 2020, and Amazon was not the only one seeking tax breaks by exploring relocation options. The recent political climate in Seattle and Washington, with talk of new taxes, has encouraged companies to consider friendlier locations.

In the new era of remote work, companies are grappling with the dilemma of what to do with the expensive office spaces they’ve invested in. Many employees no longer want or need to come into the office, so forcing them to do so is not a viable solution. Instead, companies are kicking the can down the road and postponing the decision on expensive office leases.

Amazon, on the other hand, remains committed to its plan of bringing 25,000 jobs to HQ2 by 2030, despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of office spaces. The company is confident in its ability to weather any macroeconomic challenges and overcome the consequences of past business decisions. As a result, Amazon is poised to take advantage of tax breaks and hire aggressively when the economy picks up again.

What do you think about Amazon’s decision to halt construction on its HQ2 project following the nationwide controversy over its location? Share your thoughts in the comments below.