Around F.C., News

15 Story Building Will Be F.C.’s Tallest By Far

Falls Church City Council member Phil Duncan quipped at this week’s Falls Church Chamber of Commerce social mixer that he wondered if City residents were paying sufficient attention to the action taken by the Council this Monday night in the form of a unanimous approval for modifications to the Trammel Crow company’s senior housing project that will go up on the West End property now under development.

That’s because, as he noted, what the Council approved will be the tallest building, by far, in the 2.2 square miles of the Little City, 15 stories.

The West End Partners in the development of the 10-acre site handed off the senior living building to experts in the development of such things, the Trammel Crow company, filing under the name of TC MidAtlantic, which redesigned the original plans to provide for an impressive 15-story structure that will be twice the height of any existing or currently scheduled building in the City.

The new plans had to win the approval of the City Council and other advisory entities, and no one has seemed to mind.

Bill Brewer of the Trammel Crow group appeared before the Council this Monday to outline the new plans that, among other things, calls for the deployment of $228,412 in cash to the City’s Affordable Housing Fund in lieu of designated affordable units in the building in an arrangement negotiated by consultant Ted Richter.

Falls Church City Manager Wyatt Shields explained the preference for the “payment in lieu” arrangement, because it will allow for residents to move around in the building in response to their different stages of care.

Bill Brewer of Trammel Crow appeared before the Falls Church City Council Monday, October 24th to seek an OK about the senior building his company wants to put on the West End development site. It will be 15 stories, twice the height of anything else in the City of Falls Church. (News-Press Photo)

Of the 217 residential units planned, 140 are senior independent living units, 55 are senior assisted living and 22 are senior “memory care” units. It is designed that as some residents age, they can be moved from one level of care to the next higher one.

The accommodations are provided “not on a rental, but on a services base,” Shields noted.

Construction on the building, set in the middle of the 10-acre development site, is slated to commence in 12 to 14 months, and to be completed 30 months after that. It will be located along the boulevard that will be constructed through the center of the site running from Route 7 to the West Falls Church Metro station.

Council member Debbie Hiscott noted that this goes with the City’s commitment to care for its residents ranging from child care to elder care.

In addition to the residential units, the plan calls for 7,700 square feet of ground floor retail. Kitchen facilities designed to serve the residents at their different stages of care can also be utilized by a major ground floor restaurant that may occupy part of the space.

There is space for 125 parking spaces with amenities beyond the housing units set for the first, second, third, fourth and 15th floors.

The City staff articulation of the changes were presented by Henry Zhang.

Whereas the staff was not able to provide estimated net income to the City numbers for the building, it was noted that the 10-acre project, overall, projected to bring upwards of $5 million a year to the City coffers.

Meanwhile, WMATA is continuing to elicit public comment on its plans at the West Falls Church Metrostation site to eliminate the south surface parking lot, thereby reducing the total number of parking spaces, reducing the total number of bus bays, reducing the capacity of the Kiss and Ride spaces and eliminating or reducing hourly parking meters.