Out of six original bidders for the dense economic development of 10 West End acres in the City of Falls Church, it was not until shortly after midnight Tuesday that the three finalists recommended by a select evaluation committee were announced publicly and approved by the Falls Church City Council.
The contending groups of Comstock, EYA/PN Hoffman and Rushmark, listed in alphabetical order, made the cut, it was announced, and will receive a “request for detailed proposal” from the Council, also approved in the wee hours Tuesday, by this Friday, having until late August to respond, with the selection of the finalist to work with the City in the development of those 10 prime acres of City-owned land by mid-October.
Council members, who were first informed of the evaluation group’s recommendations a week earlier in a closely-held closed session, hailed the process by which the three finalists were decided. They were briefed in the closed session by City consultant Bob Wulff and Economic Development Authority’s Robert Young, who made a compelling case, they said, for the arduous process the evaluators went through to come to their decision. Councilman Ross Litkenhous was vocal in his praise for the whole process and his colleagues concurred.
No real details of what went into the decision on the finalist were provided at Monday’s meeting, except that they were named in response to general criteria of what the evaluation group was tasked with looking for. The decisive event came when all the members of the evaluation group came together for a four-hour closed session to compare notes after completing extensive reviews of the six original applicants. The consensus met in that meeting, Wulff said, was key.