Letters to the Editor: December 10 – 16, 2015
Neighbor Pleased With Mason Row Plan Progress
In a News-Press article on the “Campus Redevelopment Project,” Falls Church Manager Wyatt Shields was quoted saying, “I will leave it to others to comment on” why only two developers submitted bids. Let me suggest that some prospective developers were dissuaded by the long, laborious, contentious and costly process to obtain approval of mixed-use projects in the city. This process can often threaten the project’s financial viability.
A case in point is the Mason Row development, now in its third year working with the city. After assembling substantial acreage for a significant mixed-use project, the developers turned out a number of costly design and engineering plans, sought out attractive anchor tenants, negotiated agreements with the city and park authority to resolve long standing traffic issues along North West Street, and offered significant contributions to schools and for other city improvements.
As a neighbor of this project, I am pleased with how the developers have met the concerns of the community, especially in advancing Mason Row’s architectural quality. I am especially pleased by the relocation of the hotel as free-standing building at the corner of Broad and West Streets. (For years, I’ve been embarrassed how I directed visitors to my home: “turn off Broad at the corner of Taco Bell and Sunoco, then make a left at the Seven Eleven and proceed up Grove Avenue to my street”). The project’s overall massing has also been enhanced by instituting varying roof lines and building setbacks. Bravo!
I would hate to see the city lose this fine new development. More importantly, I would hate to see the city lose the ability to attract new commercial development in the future – projects important to maintaining the City’s economic health and vitality. Let’s not lose that momentum.
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