By a unanimous 6-0 vote tonight, the Falls Church City Council gave a final OK to modifications of zoning and special exception provisions sought by the developers of the Hilton Garden Inn that will now move forward toward construction in the downtown City of Falls Church. The 110-room hotel will be located at 706 W. Broad St., and was initially OK’d by the Council in 2008 before the downturn in the economy forced its delay. With a new developer, the hotel project was reintroduced with modifications to lower its cost of construction this spring, and is now set once again to get built.
Key leaders of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce, F.C. residents John Rodock and Sally Cole, appeared before the Council tonight to report on the Chamber board’s continued support for the effort, and for the hotel’s expected boon to the business community. By contrast to the earlier approval process for the hotel in 2008, there was only two citizens who spoke against approval tonight.
City Manager Wyatt Shields expressed his strong support, saying “We’ve worked hard to make this project as good as it can be,” citing the limitations of the size of the parcel involved and “neighborhood issues.” He noted that special exceptions are provided for businesses that are considered “desirable for the City,” and added, “I strongly support it.”
Rick Goff of Falls Church’s Economic Development Office told the Council that projected net revenues to the City from the project were developed carefully and “we’ve taken very conservative approaches” to estimates. Net new revenues to the City are expected to range anywhere from $430,000 to $644,000 annually.
Tonight’s vote was 6-0 with Councilmember Robin Gardner not present.