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Virginia Tech Drops Plan to Expand West Falls Church Campus

Virginia Tech is no longer looking to expand its campus in West Falls Church.

The university announced yesterday (Sunday) that it made a mutual decision with the Falls Church-based construction company HITT Contracting to stop pursuing plans to redevelop its Northern Virginia Center at Haycock Road just south of the West Falls Church Metro station.

The proposed project would have added a new academic building and a research center for design and construction to the center, which currently houses administrative offices and a handful of graduate-level academic programs. It would have also featured a new headquarters for HITT, which is currently located about three miles away on Fairview Park Drive.

“After a period of due diligence and business analysis, HITT and Virginia Tech jointly decided not to finalize a comprehensive agreement for the project,” Virginia Tech said in a statement. “Despite this news, the long-time partners remain committed to working together to advance “smart” building in the construction industry.”

Virginia Tech unveiled plans to redevelop its Falls Church property in July 2019 after it received an unsolicited proposal from HITT through Virginia’s Public-Private Education Facilities and Infrastructure Act (PPEA) process, which allows private entities to develop certain public facilities and infrastructure projects.

University leaders said at the time that the potential expansion of the Falls Church campus was part of a wider effort to reorganize programming throughout Northern Virginia, including by establishing an innovation campus in Alexandria.

Virginia Tech Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer Dwayne Pinkney says the university will contine to work with HITT “to advance building construction research.”

“Virginia Tech has a long history in Falls Church,” Pinkney said. “We are committed to being there and working with Fairfax County, the City of Falls Church, and other partners to create a vibrant district around our campus.”

HITT still plans to develop a new headquarters building and a school focused on design and construction. The company says it remains interested in collaborating with Virginia Tech on those projects.

“While the redevelopment project isn’t moving forward, we believe deeply in the partnership and our work together,” HITT Vice President of Research and Development Megan Lantz said.

The real estate investment firm Rushmark Properties had also partnered with Virginia Tech on the Northern Virginia Center redevelopment. An individual with the developer confirmed to Tysons Reporter that it is no longer involved.

The Northern Virginia Center expansion was part of an ambitious redevelopment plan for the West Falls Church Transit Station Area that Fairfax County has been coordinating with the university and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

The next meeting of the task force appointed to develop recommendations for the West Falls Church TSA study is scheduled to take place virtually on Mar. 16.

Photo via Google Maps

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