A stunning space-age design for a solar-powered office building topped by an amazing solar canopy was presented to a work session of the Falls Church City Council Monday night as part of what purchasers of seven acres of City-owned land formerly owned solely by Virginia Tech on Haycock Road by the Meridian High School hope to do at the site.
The project, by an entity of multiple participants including HITT Contracting and Rushmart called Converge West Falls, would involve taking the 7.5 acres property to put this extraordinary building, the proposed combination of a national headquarters for HITT and Virginia Tech’s innovation-focused “National Center for Smart Construction” laboratory.
In addition, there would be a second mixed use building with 440 residences and 18,000 square feet of ground floor retail that would go as high as 14 stories.
This ambitious plan will require the approval of Fairfax County, upon which the land sits, in combination with the planned development of 24 adjacent acres owned by WMATA that is home to the West Falls Church Metrorail station, on one side, and on the other the 10-acre West Falls dense multi-use development on the site now being cleared off of land that once was home to Falls Church’s now-demolished old high school (the new Meridian High School completed and occupied next door).
It’s a lot of things going on at once, although completion dates are down the road timewise, and the Council at its work session expressed plenty of concern for the implications of so much going on at once in the high school, for one.
The plans for both the 7.5-acre Converge West Falls property and the 24-acre WMATA property that a team of EYA, Hoffman and Rushmark want to build a lot of residential on will be the subject of an informational forum co-hosted by the office of Fairfax Supervisor John Foust and the McLean Citizens Association next Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Longfellow Middle School, 2000 Westmoreland St. (there will be access online through Zoom).
Two representatives of the Converge development team made a lengthy power-point presentation at the F.C. City Hall Monday, careful to note that all plans are subject to change pending the reaction of both Falls Church City and Fairfax County officials. The presentation included a lot of artistic renderings of what the site would look like if their plans are approved, including some of their amazing designs for the HITT/Virginia Tech structure. The representatives told the News-Press of their concerns for treading delicately while seeking to win the support of both the City of Falls Church City Council and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
The plan is to submit the proposal to Fairfax County on Nov. 22, and to hopefully win approvals from the county’s Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors by next September or October.
If all goes according to plan, construction on the new site would begin by January 2025, with the office building completed by the Fall of 2026 and the residential completed by the Summer of 2027.