Falls Church Officials Praise Improvements to Broad and Washington Project

Slowly but surely, the controversial Broad and Washington project in Falls Church is moving forward with only minor concerns from reviewing officials.

The Falls Church Planning Commission met with the Architectural Advisory Board last night for a joint work session to discuss the upcoming project — but while public concerns remain about parking and scale, the groups offered more praise than criticism of the project.

Staff noted in a presentation that the project had gone through significant changes to offer better open space and better use of street access. The project is also perhaps most notable as the planned home of a new Whole Foods and a permanent home for local performing and visual arts group Creative Cauldron.

Members of the Planning Commission and Architectural Advisory Board were mostly satisfied with changes that scaled the building better with the surrounding area. Chair of the Architectural Advisory Board noted that one side of the building facing Broad Street still had the unfortunate “slab” look of the earlier designs.

James Way, chair of the Architectural Advisory Board, also said the roadside public square planned in the project could have been better but he said he was also happy with what the city would get.

“Like the square,” Way said. “I always like to see more space but I understand financial constraints. I worry about spaces being too taken up with hard set features. [There] might be something to make it more flexible and adaptable to actual uses.”

The project is scheduled to come back to the city government on Wednesday, Nov. 18 for a vote.

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