Mayor Hails Northgate Groundbreaking


July 15, 2011

Yesterday, Mayor Nader Baroukh and other City officials participated in the groundbreaking of the Northgate.  First proposed by Hekemian & Company over seven years ago, the project is located at former site of the Pearson Funeral Home at the corner of N. Washington and E. Jefferson St.

“After enduring – we all hope – the worst days of the recession, we can celebrate the start of construction and the transformation of this property, which is important to the City’s image and its economic health,” said the mayor. 

The Northgate is intended to help enliven the North Washington area of Falls Church City.  The project is a short walking distance from the East Falls Church Metro Station and regional access that will connect the City to Dulles Airport via the new Silver Line.  As a transit-oriented development, the Northgate will produce 95 new apartments and 10 rental town homes.  Seven of the units will be designated as affordable dwelling units. 

The project also offers 15,000 square feet of office space and nearly 23,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.  “We all have a stake in seeing the Northgate become a hub of commercial activity with appeal to both the immediate neighborhood and customers from outside the City,” Mr. Baroukh said.

The mayor expressed his gratitude to the residents of the East Jefferson Street neighborhood and to all City residents who participated in the evolution of the project by providing input during each phase of its review and approval process.  He also thanked Chris Bell of Hekemian and City staff under the direction of City Manager Wyatt Shields and the late Dan McKeever in guiding the Northgate from concept to reality.

City Council members Johannah Barry, Lawrence Webb, and Ira Kaylin, Economic Development Authority Chairman Dave Tarter, Planning Commission chair Melissa Teates, and many other officials also attended the groundbreaking ceremony.

The Northgate was approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council in 2007.  Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2013.  

The architecture of the Northgate will be unique in the City.  The design, by MV+A Architects of Bethesda, will reflect materials and features common in buildings along Connecticut Avenue in NW Washington, DC.

The site is the location of a presidential visit to Falls Church.  Exactly one hundred years ago next week, President William Howard Taft spoke on the stairs of the former home of Dr. Tunis Quick to a gathering of about 300 Falls Church residents.  The president was on his way to the site of the first battle of Bull Run to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that event. 

His visit will be reflected in an historic marker on the site.  There also will be a marker that explains the history of the site from its colonial origins through its most recent function as a long-standing Falls Church business location.

July 15, 2011 


2 Responses to “Mayor Hails Northgate Groundbreaking”

  1. Gail R Opitz on July 15th, 2011 12:12 pm

    Here’s the link to the proposed rendition:

  2. Nikki Graves Henderson on July 15th, 2011 1:52 pm

    Great news! I hope that there is an opportunity for some aspect of the design to include public art that features a trully unique aspect of Falls Church – Pink granite,locally refered to as “Tinner Stone”. The stone was used in many buildings in the region and is only found in three other locations in the entire world! This rare stone was first quarried by Native Americans and used for arrowheads & other utensils. Beginning prior to the civil war until the mid 20th century it was quarried & used by local stone masons, the Tinner family. The Falls Church Presbyterian Church (original bldg) is the last major bldg made of the stone inside the city. In 1999 the Tinner Hill Heritage Foundation used the stone to build the 15 foot civil rights memorial arch at Tinner Hill Rd. & S. Washington street. (across from Elevation Burger). Many homes in the area boast fireplaces, chimneys, foundations & design elements of the “Tinner Stone”. In the Northgate area there are dozens of homes that feature elements made of the rare stone. Hope we don’t miss the opportunity to share one of Falls Church’s natural beauty! More info on the stone can be found at

Feel free to leave a comment. Please increase the credibility of your post by including your FULL NAME and CITY. All comments are subject to editing for courtesy and content.