City’s Commercial Buildings Start Shaping Up
By STEPHEN SIEGEL
Falls Church Times Staff
August 26, 2012
Falls Church City’s commercial buildings are getting a makeover.
The changes comes for a variety of reasons. Among them: new businesses moving into an already-vacant building; a fire occurs, requiring extensive renovation; or a new owner with big plans.
While there may be nostalgia for the appearance of the old buildings and the businesses they housed, the new buildings are more modern and updated, and give the city a fresher look.
The Times has previously written about the new Dominion Jewelers on the 900 block of West Broad Street, which is replacing the dilapidated former El Zunzal restaurant. But it’s not the only new building coming to the City.
The long-vacant Syms building at East Broad and Roosevelt is nearing completion for its new tenant, 24 Hour Fitness. The location will be the company’s first in Virginia, and is scheduled to open Sept. 21. It will be interesting to see how much call there is for late-night aerobics in the City, but the company, which calls itself a “high-end” fitness center, presumably has done its due diligence.
Also nearly complete is 101 East Annandale, which suffered severe fire damage in September 2010, displacing many businesses, including the popular Lebanese Butcher restaurant. It has been rebuilt almost from the ground up and is looking much more architecturally striking than its predecessor. Its new storefronts are now for lease.
Kitty corner from that building, local developer Bob Young is preparing a major change to the site at 300 South Washington Street. Originally, Mr. Young planned to raze the squat, one-story buildings on the triangular site and construct a mixed-use building with retail and offices on the first two floors and apartments above. But City officials wouldn’t agree to his proposal to allow the residential and commercial tenants to share parking, so Mr. Young is planning to rehab the property instead.
Some of the existing tenants will be gone, such as granite supplier ACI Stone, which will remove its giant slabs of the popular kitchen counter material from the corner of the busy intersection of Washington and Annandale. But Mr. Young is hoping to keep the popular Middle Eastern restaurant Meat in a Box, as well as auto loan firm Fast Auto Loans, Inc.
“We’ll make it look very nice,” he says.
Meanwhile, Mr. Young says the proposed Hilton Garden Inn, at 706 West Broad, should be getting underway shortly.
By Stephen Siegel
August 26, 2012