Urban Land Institute to Mull F.C.’s East End Nov. 14-15

It was announced at last week’s meeting of the Falls Church City Council’s Economic Development Committee that a “technical assistance panel” of the Urban Land Institute will convene in the City in two weeks to review the potential for the City’s east side, inclusive of the Eden Center.

The panel, called a “TAP,” will be composed of the same array of urban land experts that came together in Falls Church four years ago to review the potential for the campus development project and became a defining moment for the way the school and economic development components of the 36-acre tract were configured.

The area under review this time will be inclusive of the Eden Center, Koons Ford properties and 24 Hour Fitness site. The TAP will convene at the offices of Viget in the center of the city and, in usual fashion, deliberate for two days.

It is expected the project will dovetail with plans for the Seven Corners area of Fairfax County directly across Route 50.

According to Penny Gross, the Fairfax supervisor for that area of the county’s Mason District, the Seven Corners Comprehensive Plan is based on a 40-year planning horizon, so redevelopment there is expected to occur over decades, and not just a few years.

The only element approved to date was a townhouse development east of the Target store, replacing an old medical building, Gross told the News-Press, and the county has a request in for federal funding to help with the transportation plan, which has not yet been acted on.

Also reported at the EDC meeting last week were the new plans of the Virginia Inn proprietors to revise their use of the Virginia Inn site and the former Falls Church Florist site adjacent to it. It will involve the development of a ground floor restaurant, co-worker occupancy spaces in both buildings and the retention of 22 hotel rooms.

The Economic Development Authority has revised its plans for the mini-park in the 100 block of W. Broad due to cost projections, and now it is expected that a more modest renovation of the property can occur at a cost of $250,000 that will include lighting, seating and resurfacing components.

A lease has been signed for the occupancy and reuse of the former Argia’s on N. Washington St. that will again be an Italian restaurant, with major upgrades currently underway to the kitchen. The new proprietors are expected to make a formal announcement next week.

The annual downtown tree lights project is expected to be kicked off this year on Nov. 26, the Monday following the Thanksgiving weekend.