Novak Seeks Re-Development of W. Broad’s Burger King Property

AN ILLUSTRATION of the assisted living mixed-use project, The Kensington, proposed for the 700 block of West Broad Street where a Burger King now sits. (Illustration courtesy Ed Novak)

Hoping for a smooth zoning approval process at City Hall, a Chevy Chase-based developer with a successful history of seeing through mixed use projects in the City of Falls Church has filed papers to build a five-story, 88-unit mixed use senior assisted living building on the current site of the Burger King in the 700 block of West Broad St. (Rt. 7).

Ed Novak, president of Nova-Habitat, is the developer. He was the initiating force in the construction of the City’s first modern mixed use project, The Broadway, in 2001 and followed with The Byron across the street.

If approved, Novak’s new project will be constructed on a three-fourths acre site with ground floor retail space along its W. Broad facade, including a cafe with outdoor seating open to the public. Novak noted the project is permitted “by right” under City codes except for its five story height.

The added floor, he said, “allows for additional setback from the Hilton Garden Inn hotel currently under construction next door. Parking will be under the building, completely screened from Broad and Lee Streets.

The project will be called “The Kensington” because it will be developed in conjunction with Kensington Senior Development, a company, Novak said, “started by several former senior executives from Sunrise Senior Living, based upon their extensive experience in the field, and commitment to exceptional quality care for residents.”

“Although this may be a $20 million real estate project on the outside, the key to success is clearly the quality of care and services that are provided to residents and their families on the inside. No one knows this better than the principals of Kensington,” Novak said.

An illustration of the proposed Kensington project viewed from North Lee Street. (Courtesy Ed Novak)

Novak told the News-Press, “The time is now ripe for a senior assisted living project in Falls Church.” Ironically, he said, when he first acquired the property across the street where The Broadway now sits, Marriott had acquired it for purposes of an assisted living facility, but dropped their plans and sold to him.

“Admittedly, those plans were a little premature at that time, but it is ironic that now, about 15 years later, I am coming back to revive that idea about 75 feet away,” Novak said.

Novak has been the principal of Nova-Habitat for over 20 years, working at Marriott prior to that. In addition to what he’s done in Falls Church in kicking off the City’s mixed use development boom, he has a similar project under construction in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland called Fenwick Station. It will include 310 residential units built on a former post office site in downtown Silver Spring.

“Falls Church is a wonderful community,” Novak told the News-Press. “Its demographics are attractive, I’ve been successful here in the past, and it wants to be progressive and creative about development.”

Novak said he’s got his eyes open for pursuing more projects here.

In the case of The Broadway, he partnered with Waterford to get it approved and developed, and then Waterford took it over.

In the case of The Byron, across the street from The Broadway, he led the building out of the project, selling it when it was 75 percent completed to JPI. All residential and business condominiums, it has subsequently been sold out to condo owners who collectively operate it now.

Novak is also an investor and on the board of directors of the Mad Fox Brewing Company at 444 W. Broad, and has been active in the local Chamber of Commerce.