ASK FALLS CHURCH TIMES: Status of Hilton Garden Inn?

A reader asks:

I noticed there’s been little, if any, statement on the Hilton Hotel project (next to the Flower Building). Is it possible to find the official status?

If by official status you mean does it have all necessary approvals by the City, the answer is yes. City Council granted a special exception in June and the Planning Commission approved the site plan in October. The City approvals are available here.

Many readers will recall this as the project vehemently opposed by some parents of students at St. James School, two blocks away. Ultimately, however, the pastor of St. James Catholic Church, the Rev. Patrick L. Posey, gave his blessing for the hotel in exchange for development proffers including a tall fence around the school playground. Details of the deal can be found in the archives of the Falls Church News-Press.

We’ve heard that a rumor is circulating among some of the opposing parents to the effect that the hotel project is dead in the water. So we asked the developer, Robert Young, to provide readers an update. Young responded:

With respect to the Hilton Garden Inn:

— It has taken many months to get the site plan approved but that process now is essentially completed.  We have only to post bonds and obtain building permits to begin construction.

— We are working hard to obtain financing for the hotel, which is difficult at best in this economic environment.  However, we are encouraged by a couple of institutional lenders and hope to have reasonable financing in hand in the next 60-90 days.  No guarantees, but we are hopeful.

If that doesn’t work, we will simply have to wait out the market and move forward when the economy improves.

Young’s company most recently built 800 Broad (the “Flower Building”) and 400 Broad (the Read Building).

Have a question about the City that might be on fellow residents’ minds as well? Send your question to the Falls Church Times and we’ll try to get an answer. When you write, please consider using your real name. We give preference to requests from “real people.”

May 7, 2009 


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