Mason Row Project Back Before City Council

September 8, 2015 by · 5 Comments 

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
September 8, 2015

Mason Row, the big mixed-use project proposed for the northeast corner of Broad & West streets, is back before the City Council tonight with some additional revisions.

The revisions are not a great surprise; they were outlined in a letter from the developer to City officials in June.

But developer Spectrum Development did follow through on what they promised, with a variety of changes intended to make the project more palatable to City officials and to residents in the immediate area.

One of the changes was to remove the structured parking garage from residential Park Avenue, and to replace it with a residential component relatively short in stature — three stories. That would be the lowest height anywhere in the project, which would rise 85 feet closer to busy Broad Street.

Another big change is to move the Home 2 extended stay hotel from its previous location opposite Grove Avenue to the more visible corner of Broad & West. Residents had asked for that change, and one might think the hotel owner would appreciate the extra visibility as well.

The Falls Church Times also has learned that the proposal to have eight movie theaters at the site is not set in stone, and that it could include as few as six screens, depending on which theater operator ultimately is selected.

Spectrum Principal Peter Batten told the Times last week that the number could be reduced from the current eight, and that negotiations with a variety of theater companies are ongoing. Some residents have viewed eight screens as too many for that location.

The Times will be at tonight’s hearing and plans to report on the Council’s reaction to this latest version of the project, which has been in the planning stages now for over four years.

If approved, Mason Row would cover more than four acres from Broad & West to the St. James Church property. It would consist of a variety of the hotel, movie theaters, restaurants, and other retail, along with about 340 apartments. Depending on the final configuration, City projections suggest it could bring in somewhere between $1.3 million and $2 million annually to City coffers.

West Street Project Gets Under Way

September 8, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

September 8, 2015

The South West Street roadbed reconstruction project ( officially begins today, and the first phase is expected to last two to three weeks.

During this period, two lanes of traffic will be maintained at all times and parking will be temporarily restricted on both sides of the road between Abbott Lane and Poplar Drive. Driveway access for residents will be maintained outside of work hours, which are currently scheduled for 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., which means that such access will be restricted during active construction times.

Roadbed reconstruction is a more expensive and time-consuming project compared to traditional repaving, but it will yield a greater return on investment for taxpayers, City officials say, because it will last far longer than would the alternative.

“With traditional paving, you’re just throwing away money,” City Public Works Director Mike Collins told the Falls Church Times in June. “We’d be back in 5-7 years.” But with this approach, he said the bottom layers will last 60 years and the paving will last for 20.

The contracted construction company will use a method called “full-depth reclamation,” which will help deliver the project in an efficient manner and provide access to driveways more consistently. This project is budgeted through the Capital Improvements Projects program.