Local Commentary

A New Public Carousel, Please!

Yes, it is another ceremonial hard-hat donning and shiny shovel in the pre-placed dirt pile combination media photo-op and community wide celebration that is scheduled for this morning (May 19) in the City of Falls Church, this one signaling commencement the biggest project yet, the 10 acres where the City’s old high school used to sit. As we can see from the photo on Page One of this edition, this comes as the demolition of the Broad and Washington site is still underway following a similar event hosted by the Insight Property Group there just a couple weeks ago. And still, these are neither the beginning or end of it.

Approvals by the F.C. City Council are nearing for a Founders Row 2 project catty corner to Founders Row 1, still under construction even as folks have begun to move into apartments there, and the One City Center project catty corner to the Insight project at Broad and Washington. Smaller infill projects, such as a new future for the property where the old Stratford Motor Lodge is now boarded up, and more are also sprinkled about the City. Do we need to delineate all of them that have sprouted up since 2002, once the City began to realize that such developments restricted to its commercially-zoned corridors, was good for paying for quality education for the City’s youths. That has been the case so much so that the City recently completed its new $120 million high school without it having cost local taxpayers a dime, even as the City Council was able to lop a whopping nine cents off its residential real estate rate this spring to help offset the region’s booming rise in assessed real estate values.

Not just Falls Church, although the City has been among the first jurisdictions to go down this path, but now the entire Northern Virginia region, inclusive of the jurisdictions of Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William and Falls Church, are making huge gains as corporate giant Amazon chose the region for its second headquarters over stiff competition from other areas. As those other areas, including New York and Boston, ran into pressures from their locals to put heavy restrictions on an Amazon move to those areas, Northern Virginia won over Amazon, and not the least because, with initiative from the little but aggressive City of F.C. for over two decades, a predisposition for smart growth, and with it high quality educational opportunities, made it the most attractive.

The News-Press has learned that City economic development leaders are reporting many more major development opportunities for Falls Church, too.

There should be no letting up on this push to make the region enjoy a trend-setting cultural, educational and smart growth-led true New Renaissance.

In this context, the News-Press favors a charming new public carousel to be placed on the grounds between the west and east-bound lanes of the soon-to-be constructed new West Falls Station Boulevard. Please.