Last week, the Mill Creek developers of the 4.3-acre Founders Row project made news by announcing four of the new restaurants that will be opening at its site later this year, including one that is Michelen rated.
This week, Joe Muffler and his Mill Creek team are back with even more important news – the fact that a “letter of intent” has been signed for an eight-screen movie complex there.
The brand name is not yet public, but the outfit is headquartered in the D.C. area although it has no other operations in the DMV. Muffler told Phil Duncan, the chair of the Falls Church’s City Council’s Economic Development Committee, who reported to his group’s meeting that the company “has a solid operational history” and that a dine-in feature will offer “upscale in-seat dining.”
Stay tuned for the name, and the nailing down of the lease terms.
Some on the Falls Church City Council have made it clear that the approval Mill Creek is seeking for a Founders Row 2, a smaller (but not by much) version of the original site where the now-vacant Rite Aid site and the just-sold rug store sits, is contingent on Mill Creek’s landing the movie theater it’s promised for years now.
Clearly, the pandemic put a huge crimp on those plans, as the movie theater market collapsed. But it is now recovering and promises to be better than ever.
So, news of the movie theater signing will have the double benefit to all, including a final approval for Founders Row 2, which is mostly residential and promises to bring a lot of tax revenue to the City’s coffers.
Assuming things go as planned, the City Council would be set to provide a final OK to the Founders Row 2 in May. It will come to the site of the vacant Rite Aid store in the 1000 block of West Broad.
Becky Witsman, the City’s Economic Development czar, updated the committee on the progress of local establishments on a number of fronts up and down Broad Street, and among the more interesting is what’s eventually going to happen to the now-eyesore in the 400 block, site of a former florist shop.
The committee has viewed design plans for it, a site that includes the small Inns of Virginia hotel, and it is duly impressive. Across the street from Solace, the stately brewery-based restaurant, there is a link to that that will soon become clearer.
It reportedly is also going to include a fancy bakery.
A few blocks down, the former Stratford Motel is now vacant and behind a chain link fence. According to Witsman, its prospects now are deterred by a high asking price.
The Eden Center, site of Chinese New Year festivities this week, is now fully occupied with the addition of a new Iron Gym fitness center and Martini Restaurant at its back end.
At the newly-renovated Falls Plaza, all the retail spots have now been leased but one, and the new Taco Rocks establishment is 90 percent complete. Other businesses, Bole, Crumbler and Aqua Tots, are in their buildout stages.
The Tropical Smoothie Cafe, going into the old bank building in the 600 block, will have a drive-through feature and is slated to open this summer.
Harvey’s restaurant in The Byron will be open “in weeks not months.”