Set of 66 signature West FC 10 acres on the move

City of Falls church officials who participated in signing the lease for the 10 acres at the west end of town were (left to right) City Manager Wyatt Shields, City Attorney Carol McCoskrie and Economic Development Authority Chairman Bob Young. (Courtesy photo).

In an elaborate signing event at Falls Church Town Hall last Friday, the long-awaited 99-year lease on the 10 acres of land on the west end of town between the town, the development authority economics of the city and the West Falls Partners group of EYA, Regency and Hoffman Associates was completed. More than 66 documents were signed during the morning event at FC Town Hall.

City Manager Wyatt Shields, City Attorney Carol McKoskrey and FC Economic Development Authority (EDA) chief Bob Young used their signing hands and maybe a pen or two in the culmination a decades-long process, so construction on the site is now due to begin.

In recognition of this, an official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for today (Thursday 19 May). It marks one of the greatest days of many in the history of the Church in the City of Falls. This not only marks the start of construction of several mixed-use components on the land, but also the start of what will expand beyond these 10 acres to include adjacent lands now occupied by Virginia Tech and WMATA on the West Falls Church subway station site. , a combined total of over 40 acres, all slated for extensive development.

It should be noted that, taken together, the new developed area will be larger and more substantial than the Mosaic project at Merrifield. Construction of a boulevard in the center of the three parcels connecting Route 7 to the West Falls Church subway station is expected to begin soon. It will be known as West Falls Station Boulevard.

Last week’s signings ensure, among other things, that the funding will be there to pay for Falls Church’s new $120 million Meridian High School campus at no cost to city ratepayers.

It brings the Combined Projects and Church of the City of Falls amid Northern Virginia’s tech and higher education boom, spearheaded by Amazon’s decision to locate its second national headquarters (HQ2) just down of the road. The move played a big part in Boeing’s announcement last week that it would move its headquarters from Chicago to this immediate area, and more.

Now, according to a market impact study released last month, the region has a whopping eight million square feet of new office space in the pipeline, with 9,000 new jobs expected, beyond Amazon’s plans. .

In response to last Friday’s signing and today’s groundbreaking, FC Town Hall released a statement stating that “10 years of thoughtful and deliberate planning, negotiation and community input have led upon the signing of the 99-year ground lease for the West Falls project.The payments – in large amounts in two phases, then in smaller amounts over 99 years – will fund the completed high school project.

FC developer Bob Young, chairman of the EDA who was involved in all the signings last week, also released a statement.

He wrote: ‘On behalf of the City Council and the Economic Development Authority, last Friday morning I was extremely pleased to sign 66 times with my name the documents necessary for the implementation of the West End project.

“This is truly a monumental event for our small town, and when tied to the potential development of the adjacent Virginia Tech and Metro sites, it will have a tremendously beneficial effect on our community for years to come. Among other things, for example, the project will generate a large-scale expansion of places to go and things to do, lead to a significant increase in the number of affordable housing units and lead to a significant decrease in the tax rate over time.

“In celebrating this milestone achievement, I believe it is important to also recognize the extraordinary contributions of so many people over the years of effort to achieve this. While it is impossible to name them all, they have been an integral part of hundreds of public meetings attended by virtually all of our boards and commissions, City Council, and dozens of community members. Institute, at the instigation of the City’s Director of Community Planning and Economic Development, Jim Snyder.At this key event, attendees laid out the collective vision of how the 10-acre property could be developed, which is about to become a reality.

“Furthermore, great credit must go to City Manager, Wyatt Shields and City Attorney, Carol McCoskrie, and their staff for their dedicated and tireless efforts over the past two years to help make all of this Likewise, I would like to acknowledge the role played by Nick Benton, owner/publisher of Falls Church News Press, who for over 30 years has been advocating for sensible business development in the city and, more recently, for this particular project.

“In closing, let me once again express my thanks to everyone mentioned above and the hundreds of others who have given their time and effort to bring the West End project to this important point.”

Jerry B. Hatch