Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Crescent Falls Church Construction Complete, Minor Finishing Touches Await

A representative of Texas-based Hanover Company confirmed that construction teams have nearly wrapped up the Crescent Falls Church project and the building received their Certificate of Occupancy earlier this summer. This is Hanover's second major development in the Metro area, having completed Ashton Judiciary Square in 2009. The 6-story, 214-unit Crescent, a mixed-use and multi-family residence in Arlington near the East Falls Church Metro, was delivered only ever so slightly behind schedule, originally set to finish earlier this spring. Given that the developers planned to start leasing this summer, and now report the building 25% leased, there is plenty for Hanover to celebrate in a downmarket summer that has seen many more groundbreakings, affordable housing plans, and proposal extension requests than ribbon cuttings. The finished community neighbors the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&OD) and Falls Church Park, but the area surrounding East Falls Church Metro remains underutilized - largely a commuter zone, often simply passed over by shoppers on the way to Tysons. This development is part of a larger effort by Arlington and Falls Church officials to encourage denser redevelopment that will help transform the vicinity into a more urban, mass-transit friendly locale.

The new building is stockpiled with the standard amenities: private screening room, concierge, daily hot beverage service, two courtyards – one with a fire-pit and outdoor grilling and dining areas, and the other with dual-sided fireplace and outdoor grilling and dining areas. Like Hanover's previous venture in Penn Quarter, the apartment building focuses heavily on a variety of sustainable features. Developers believe that its metro location, recycling center, technical features, "oversized" bike room, and underground parking garage with priority for low-emission vehicles will help the building receive LEED certification upon review.

Hanover's nationwide record of apartment construction and operation likely helped the company muster proper financing and get this project completed. Other projects originally expected to be delivered on a similar time-line continue to limp along through the recession with little material progress to show for their efforts. Akridge's nearby Gateway development, set for the 500 block of N. Washington Street and unveiled way back in 2006, has yet to get off the ground. Delayed by the economic downturn, developers continue to bicker with city officials over the ratio of commercial (offices and retail) to residential square footage. Akridge is proposing one 73-foot, 5-story office building with 71,000 s.f. of office space and 12,000 s.f. of retail, coupled with a slightly shorter second 5-story building, this one offering 200 units (averaging 800 s.f. in size) and 2,500 s.f. of ground floor retail space. Their current plans offer a 70-30 percent split between residential and commercial, but officials look to push developers closer to a 50-50 setup.

Hekemian's "Northgate" development, a mixed use project, including 124 rental apartments, on the N. Washington St. side of the old Pearson Funeral Home, also had an initial expected completion date in 2010, but continues to trudge through the final site plan approval process and futilely fish for financing packages. A site plan amendment to incorporate the approved North Washington streetscape design is currently under consideration; it is unknown when construction will start.

Falls Church real estate development news


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