Wednesday, April 20, 2011

City Center South Set for Revival in Falls Church

A nine acre, 1 million s.f. mixed use development in Falls Church that four years ago had been touted as a revival agent, City Center South is coming back to life, confirms the Planning Division of The City of Falls Church. The revival of a sagging downtown has been a city aspiration since at least 2000, yet has been slowed by the economic downturn as well as the scope and size of such an ambitious development.

"We have had indication from Atlantic Realty Companies that they are ready to move forward with their plans," said Becky Witsman, Planning Officer for Falls Church. "We take that as good news."

The Tysons Corner based Atlantic Realty Companies, which owns the land, confirms the project's revival. Jonathan Ross, Development Coordinator for the company, said Atlantic Realty will likely break ground nine months from now. "We don't have far to go in terms of approval with the site plan," he said. "We are in the final stages of approval and financing."

As the case has been for so many large development projects around the area, lack of financing had stalled City Center South after Fall Church City Council's surprisingly unanimous approval of the $317 million project in February of 2008. Plans languished and WDG Architecture abandoned the project. LeMay, Erickson and Willcox Architects of Reston was hired to take over in 2009, but the design will stay the same as that approved in 2008, Ross says.

The two-phased plan is slated to take five years to develop the 8.7 acre area bounded by West Broad Street, Gibson Street, Big Chimneys Park and South Washington Street. Phase one entails a 73,570 s.f. office building with 16,250 s.f. of ground floor retail at West Broad Street; a 140,400 s.f. hotel at South Maple Street and West Annandale with 180 rooms and ground floor retail; a retirement community with 134 apartments; a new Bowl America, garage, and a drive-thru bank.

Phase two encompasses a 58,850 s.f. Harris Teeter (which has signed a Letter of Intent); 16,750 s.f. of retail at Annandale Road and South Maple Streets; as well as 412 residences and 16 town homes at the intersection of Gibson Street and Big Chimney Park.

Falls Church, VA Real Estate Development News


Anonymous said...

Seeing is believing. I've heard this one before. The City has been promising to increase their tax revenue base by attracting new businesses for years and have done nothing but increase taxes on residential property while eliminating things like the George bus that serviced the downtown area and took residents to the metro stations. The recent Merrifield development project, just down the road from Falls Church City, may have stirred up the pot but it's doubtful that the city council has their act together enough to actually break ground - at least not in my life time (I'm 65 & have lived in FC for the last 11 years).

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