EDA Grant for Downtown Plaza Mulled

Plaza illustration.
Plaza illustration.

A new small public plaza could be constructed in downtown Falls Church if a grant from the City’s Economic Development Authority is accepted by City officials, the City’s Public Information Office announced in a release Thursday.

Early last month the EDA pledged a conditional grant for up to $550,000 to the City’s Parks and Recreation program for a redesigned, rebuilt and re-purposed public plaza in the 100 block of W. Broad Street on City-owned land located between the Hunan Café and Hot N Juicy Crawfish eateries.

The proposal remains subject to the approval of the Falls Church City Council.

“The EDA believes a new public plaza at this location will help continue to revitalize the downtown area, provide positive economic impacts to local businesses, and create a great place for everyone to enjoy in the heart of our City,” said EDA Chairman Michael Novotny.

Designed by the landscape architect Olin Studio of Philadelphia, the plaza is proposed to have outdoor dining and gathering spaces, a performance venue and seating, public art, garden areas, an interactive water feature, handicap accessibility, and an abundance of trees.

Olin Studio previously designed Bryant Park in New York City and the 11th Street Bridge Park in Washington, DC, among its portfolio of work across the U.S.
“In a walking tour of downtown, the EDA Board saw this piece of underutilized City-owned land as a great opportunity to invest in public space and continue to improve our downtown,” Novotny said in the press release.

The pledged funds are part of the proceeds from the sale of EDA land for the 301 West Broad Street/Harris Teeter mixed-use development project, set to open later this year.