Amazon's urban campus in Seattle, Wash. (Jordan Stead / Amazon)

The D.C. metro area is a top contender for Amazon HQ2, but it may not be the only tech giant interested in moving in. Apple has reportedly been eyeing northern Virginia for a new office. With both companies set to bring 20,000-50,000 highly paid workers and offices that would span millions of square feet, CityLab writer Sarah Holder asks, what impact would not one, but two, tech hubs have on the D.C. metro area?

The Washington metro area’s rent is already projected to rise $113 over the next 10 years if left in homeostasis, according to a Zillow analysis of the effects an Amazon HQ2 would have on housing prices. If Amazon HQ2 were to locate there, rents would rise $251. The number was significant, but much lower than Los Angeles’ $1,679 or Denver’s $1,590.

One thing’s for sure, though: The region will need more housing to hold workers. Projections by the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs indicate that by 2032, 491,000 new housing units would be needed to match regional job growth even without Amazon, which has been estimated to bring in 390,000 residents from direct employment and associated economic growth. “We’re already seeing high rents and high home prices, and we don’t have enough housing for the number of people we expect in the next five to 10 years, even without Amazon,” Yolanda Cole, the chair of Urban Land Institute Washington, told the Washington Post. Those projections would likely only further increase if Apple comes, too, with its 20,000 jobs. (Other estimates have suggested that Amazon would add between 300,000 to 1 million new residents to the region over 10 to 15 years, accounting for the “contagion effect” of new massive tech projects attracted. Apple is one of the companies that might catch the bug.)

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