In a blockbuster announcement Sunday with profound implications for the City of Falls Church, Virginia Tech is no longer looking to expand its campus in West Falls Church.
A brief press statement made through Virginia Tech’s online Daily News feed announced the development. It said a mutual agreement between Virgniia Tech and HITT Contracting resulted in the decision after a lengthy review process of proposals to expand Tech’s site on Haycock Road near the West Falls Church Metro and adjacent the site of the City of Falls Church’s 10-acre West End mixed use development plan.,
The Virginia Tech proposed project would have added a new academic building and a research center for design and construction to the center, which currently houses administrative offices and a handful of graduate-level academic programs. It would have also featured a new headquarters for HITT, which is currently located about three miles away on Fairview Park Drive.
Virginia Tech originally announced an intention to redevelop its Falls Church property in July 2019 after it received an unsolicited proposal from HITT through Virginia’s Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) process, which allows private entities to develop certain public facilities and infrastructure projects.
Virginia Tech Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Dwayne Pinkney was quoted saying the university will continue to work with HITT to advance building construction research. “Virginia Tech has a long history in Falls Church,” Pinkney said. “We are committed to being there and working with Fairfax County, the City of Falls Church, and other partners to create a vibrant district around our campus.”
HITT still plans to develop a new headquarters building and a school focused on design and construction. The company says it remains interested in collaborating with Virginia Tech on those projects. “While the redevelopment project isn’t moving forward, we believe deeply in the partnership and our work together,” HITT Vice President of Research and Development Megan Lantz said in an interview with the Tysons Reporter. Rushmark Properties had also partnered with Virginia Tech on the Northern Virginia Center redevelopment but according to reports is no longer involved..
The Northern Virginia Center expansion was part of an ambitious redevelopment plan for the West Falls Church Transit Station Area that Fairfax County has been coordinating with the university and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
The next meeting of the task force appointed to develop recommendations for the West Falls Church TSA study is scheduled to take place virtually on Mar. 16.