I oppose the proposed One City Center Project. It was touted here in February 3rd’s edition of the News-Press. Three main reasons why it needs to be changed:
1. From the One City Center “Special Exception Viewbook” — “Atlantic requests an increase in building height to 115 feet in order to achieve a successful land use mix, underwrite the mixed-use building’s cost, and ensure the viability of the project’s commercial uses.”
Less than 1 block from this proposal is the Rushmark building with Harris Teeter. Rushmark was granted a special exception height bonus of 15 feet — for a total of 90 feet. Why should this project be even 25 feet higher, for 115 feet, than the Rushmark building that already towers over Broad Street? If their project might financially fail unless this 115 ft. height is granted, One City Center may have much more serious problems.
2. Instead of rental apartments, our city should be insisting that Atlantic construct condominiums that offer home ownership! Our city just recently approved Hoffman & Associates to build 247 “for sale” condominiums at the West Falls Project. If Hoffman & Associates can do it, why can’t Atlantic build 246 condo units too?
Up to 2014, our city only had 1,696 apartments. Since 2014, the city has approved or is in the process of approving 2,105 more! More rental apartments in the last 7 years than all of the previous 67 years Falls Church has been a city! Why? With today’s mortgage interest rates, condominiums are more affordable than ever — for singles, couples, young families starting out, and “empty nesters” who are “down-sizing.”
3. Does Atlantic Realty think Falls Church needs 3 grocery stores within 2 blocks of each other? Harris Teeter, Whole Foods (soon), and now their Grocer Tenant too? A 4th grocery store — Aldi — is 3 blocks away! This is not sustainable. Conventional grocery stores have a profit margin of about 2.2% percent, making them one of the least profitable industries in the US. https://thegrocerystoreguy.com/what-is-the-profit-margin-for-grocery-stores/.
More problems too — it needs to be changed. Happy to discuss this with anyone!