F.C. Touts Visibility to Gain Some Holiday Economic Advantage

Hoping to capitalize on the holiday spirit for some stepped up economic activity in the City of Falls Church, the City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Chamber of Commerce have stepped up to provide some seasonal signage to draw both residents and travelers through the major corridors to City retailers, restaurants, and cultural offerings. The campaign will feature F.C.’s “The Little City” logo.

The EDA has provided funding to collaborate with the F.C. Chamber of Comemrce to produce a new two-sided banner to hang over W. Broad St. (Route 7) reading, “Shop Local!”
It has also put some money toward an effort to create 18 new “Little City” pole banners to be hung along Routes 7 and 29 in the City Center area. These will feature texts urging folks to “Eat in the Little City,” “Shop in the Little City” and avail the arts, music and history of Falls Church, as well.

The plan is to have the banner installed before Christmas, and in time to draw attention to the City’s annual Watch Night New Year’s Eve festivities slated for that downtown area. The banner effort is being coordinated by City resident Barbara Cram, who is also in charge of Watch Night efforts.

In other business development news provided in a report released by the Falls Church Economic Development Office (EDO) yesterday, the long-time City business, the Quinn Auction House, has purchased the 360 S. Washington St. building, has its lighted signage in place, and hopes to move into its new digs on Jan. 2. The purchase price for the building was $2.35 million.
The EDO reported that the demolition of the old Chicken Out structure at the Falls Plaza Shopping Center was completed Monday, and an anticipated 120-day construction effort will begin for a new BB&T drive-through bank at the site which developers hope will be completed by the end of March. The project has blocked numerous parking spaces in the parking lot of the shopping center, which is also home to a Giant Food store, restaurants and other retailers.

A new “Space Bar,” owned by the Galaxy Hut of Arlington, is now moving to a late January 2012 opening at 709 W. Broad St., site of the former Stacy’s Coffee. The group submitted its building permit to City Hall on Dec. 2, and has applied for an ABC license. Once open, the business will offer small live music groups, a vegetarian-friendly full kitchen, wine and beer.
With building permit submissions expected this week, plans are moving ahead for the Dominion Jewelers’ new two-story office building at 917 W. Broad St., current site of the El Zunzal restaurant. Ground breaking is slated for early 2012.

Following demolition, construction is now underway on the same foundation for a two-story retail/office building at 101 E. Annandale Rd. that is expected to be ready for occupancy by June 2012. The replaces the earlier one that burned down last year. Currently, leasing efforts are underway for retail spaces from 970 to 10,000 square feet, and office spaces from 500 to 10,000 square feet.

Following a delay, construction has resumed on the Northgate mixed use project at 472 N. Washington St with off-site construction vehicle staging and parking plans being finalized. Construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

Body Dynamics, a popular Arlington-based business hoping to move into 9,711 square feet on the ground floor of the Pearson Square building at 410 S. Maple in Falls Church, came through a public hearing at the F.C. Planning Commission Monday and appearance before the EDA Tuesday in advance of what it hopes will be a final OK from the F.C. City Council on Jan. 9. The business offers physical therapy, personal training, exercise classes, acupuncture, massage and other fitness and wellness programs and services.

Once obtaining a final OK, Body Dynamics expects to begin a build out of its new location in March, with occupation by September 2012, when it will move from its present location.
Settlement on the financing for the 24-Hour Fitness Center to move into the old Symms site at 1000 E. Broad St. was completed last week, according to the EDO, and with some final paperwork pending for submission to the City, construction will take about a year.

The EDO also pointed out in its report yesterday that with the Honey Baked Ham and Cafe now open in the Broaddale Shopping Center, parking there has become extraordinarily tight. The new establishment joins the new Famous Dave’s as well at Chipotle, Starbucks, FedEx and other retailers in the strip mall. Because of the tight parking, towing has been stepped up, the EDO reports.

Towing occurs there whenever a patron parks and moves off the shopping center, even if only briefly, to visit the library or other adjacent establishments.