Metro unveils major Falls Church redevelopment agreement
West Falls Church Metro station will have more than 1M sq ft of mixed use space
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has signed an agreement to redevelop the West Falls Church Metro Station site as a more than 1 million-square-foot mixed-use development. Construction is expected to begin in 2023.
The agreement was reached with FGCP-Metro LLC, a joint real estate development partnership involving Bethesda, Maryland-based EYA LLC, Washington, D.C.-based Hoffman & Associates and Falls Church-based Rushmark Properties.
Plans for the redevelopment of Metro’s parking lots include adding apartments, townhomes, neighborhood retail and public green spaces. It will connect to the proposed mixed-use redevelopment of Meridian High School (formerly George Mason High School) with bike lanes, sidewalks, public parking spaces and a secondary grid of streets to alleviate congestion.
“Building transit-oriented development is an important strategy for managing many of this region’s most pressing challenges, such as traffic congestion, sustainability, housing production and transit ridership recovery,” Metro General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld said in a statement. “The West Falls Church Metro Station is a unique opportunity that will convert underutilized parking lots to provide housing, jobs and economic opportunities, and create a cohesive development plan with the adjacent publicly-owned sites.”
Developers can apply to the $2 billion Amazon.com Inc. Housing Equity Fund, which provides below-market equity to qualified developers, but the project is separate from the fund.
The project results from several years of work between Metro, the development team and Fairfax County to amend the comprehensive plan for the site.
In 2019, Metro’s board of directors approved moving forward with a joint development agreement and public hearing held last December. The deal is expected to generate long-term revenue for Metro through 99-year ground leases, as well as from new ridership fares.
On July 13, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved an amendment to the comprehensive plan to support development of the Metro site and the adjoining Virginia Tech site.
In the next year, the joint development team will go through Fairfax County’s rezoning process. Metro will also hold a public hearing on the proposed changes to commuter parking and bus facilities.