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West Falls Church developers will detail plans at meeting this month

A rendering of the proposed development outside the West Falls Church Metro station (via WMATA)

If the proliferation of major developments planned around the West Falls Church Metro station is making your head spin, an upcoming community meeting may provide some clarity.

The developers seeking to redevelop the Metro station property and expand Virginia Tech’s nearby Northern Virginia Center campus will present their proposals and answer questions at an informational meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Sponsored by Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust’s office and the McLean Citizens Association, the event will take place at Longfellow Middle School in McLean. It will start at 7 p.m. with an open house, where attendees can look at informational boards and talk directly to the developers.

The main meeting will last from 7:30-9 p.m. and include presentations on both projects, an overview of Fairfax County’s zoning review process, and a Q&A period.

“Participants will have the opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions and remote participants will be able to submit written questions or comments during the meeting,” Foust’s office said in a community notice, noting that a Zoom link for those who want to follow virtually will be provided a week before the meeting.

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors opened the door for mixed-use development in the West Falls Church Transit Station Area (TSA) with an amendment to the county’s comprehensive plan in July 2021.

Applications for the Metro station redevelopment and Virginia Tech expansion were submitted for county review in March and September, respectively:

The FCGP-Metro Development (RZ-2022-DR-00006) application by EYA, Hoffman and Associates, and Rushmark Properties proposes to rezone the 24-acre West Falls Church Metrorail Station (7040 Haycock Rd, Falls Church) to the Planned Residential Mixed Use zoning district. The proposed development would include up to 810 multifamily units, 90 townhomes, and a 110,000 square feet office building with up to 10,000 square feet of ground floor retail.

The Converge West Falls (RZ-2022-DR-00018) application by HITT Contracting and Rushmark Properties proposes to rezone the 7.5-acre Northern Virginia Center (7054 Haycock Rd, Falls Church) to the Planned Residential Mixed-Use zoning district. The two-block mixed-use project consists of three buildings totaling 820,000 square feet of development and includes a six-floor office building that would serve as HITT Contracting’s corporate headquarters, a 440-unit residential building, and a 2,000 square foot one-story retail kiosk. The office building would include the approximately 40,000-square foot National Center for Smart Construction laboratory space to support Virginia Tech university’s mission as an academic and research institution.

The prospect of approximately 1.8 million square feet of new development — plus the separate West Falls project that’s already under construction in Falls Church City — has some in the community worrying that navigating the area by car and foot or bicycle could become untenable.

In the hopes of finding solutions, the county has been studying the TSA’s pedestrian and bicycle network. The most recent community meetings on the study were held Oct. 26 and 27, and an advisory group met for a seventh time on Wednesday (Nov. 2).

Metro is also accepting public comments until next Thursday (Nov. 10) on its proposal to overhaul the West Falls Church station’s parking lots, which will be partly replaced by the FCGP-Metro development.