Emergency Action By F.C. Council Set Tonight as Harris-Teeter Mulls Bailing

An extraordinary action to take a formal vote at a work session has been added to the agenda of the Falls Church City Council at its meeting tonight, a resolution to act immediately to move up the approval process for the Rushmark Company’s mixed use project in the 300 block of W. Broad that is slated to be anchored by a full-scale Harris Teeter grocery store. The News-Press has learned that Harris-Teeter executives from its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, visited with F.C. officials last week and indicated that further delays in their project here will result in a decision to cancel it.

The action tonight, if approved, will immediately forward the plan to City boards and commissions for review and to set May 13 as a date for final Council action. According to the City, the project, if developed, would bring $1,320,876 in net new revenues to the City annually. It involves the combination of three properties, two owned by the City and the City’s Economic Development Authority, and one private parcel.

The prospect of further delays in the project, as hinted by Mayor Nader Baroukh and Vice Mayor David Snyder last week, according to News-Press sources, led Harris Teeter officials to consider cancelling the plan, altogether. With massive plans for a nationwide expansion of their franchise, it was reported, unacceptable delays in Falls Church would simply shift the company’s priorities elsewhere.