For the fourth straight week, a meeting of the Falls Church Campus Economic Development Working Group, composed of City Council, Planning Commission and Economic Development Authority representatives working with the consulting team from Alvarez and Marsal has been cancelled. This comes as the clock is ticking for the City to provide citizens with important economic development data to inform decisions on a $120 million school bond referendum on the ballot in early November. No explanation for the meeting cancellation, which was scheduled for Friday, accompanied the e-mail announcement stakeholders received of the group’s latest work Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, according to a report in the Bisnow digital newsletter, a potential major player in the future of the 10 acres on the 36-acre high school-middle school campus site has been busy putting a chunk of its Northern Virginia real estate on the market. WMATA “is looking for a private company to buy and develop a two-acre bus garage site in Old Town Alexandria,” Bisnow reports, citing Nina Albert, WMATA real estate director speaking at an Alexandria State of the Market forum last year. Solicitations will be released later this month, and bids will be accepted for the next two and a half months, she said.
The potential role a much larger chunk of WMATA property, which is adjacent to the West Falls Church Metro station that directly abuts the Falls Church campus site, has been the subject of some of the local working group inquiries though with no known responses to date. Without a doubt, the linking of all or part of that WMATA land to a development scenario involving the campus site could make a monumental difference in terms of the revenue potentials for the City of Falls Church, which is looking for such revenue to alleviate the cost of a $120 million new high school.