Developers submit plans to transform West Falls Church Metro parking

A planned mixed-use project by the West Falls Church Metro station (via Fairfax County)

Plans are officially in for the mixed-use project that will transform the West Falls Church Metro station area.

Developers EYA, Hoffman & Associates, and Rushmark Properties has proposed replacing parking lots by the Metro station with over 1 million square feet of new construction, including residential buildings and townhomes, an office building, up to 10,000 square feet of retail, and 2.1 acres of parks.

After signing an agreement in August with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which owns the land, the group — collectively known as FGCP-Metro LLC — submitted a rezoning application and final development plans to Fairfax County on Dec. 17.

The project will create four new streets, potentially 90 townhouses, and up to 810 multifamily dwellings across three new buildings in Idylwood around an existing six-story WMATA parking garage.

“The Applicant’s proposal, in addition to redevelopment of the adjacent West Falls Site and Virginia Tech Site, presents an exciting inter-jurisdictional planning opportunity entirely unique in Virginia,” Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh attorney Andrew Painter said in the application. “When constructed, this approximately 60-acre district will function as one larger transit-oriented neighborhood.”

The plan calls for a six-story multifamily building by Falls Church Drive and the existing WMATA parking garage.

The building’s first floor would have retail, resident amenities, and an outdoor terrace. The complex would also have an interior courtyard, and a nearby woonerf would encourage pedestrian traffic.

Parking for the new structure, which is slated to be developed by Rushmark, would be concentrated in an underground garage.

The proposal also includes three blocks of townhomes. The first two would be three stories tall, with one set having up to 17 units and the other, located by The Pavillion and Village condos, having up to 42 townhomes. The third block would consist of four-story residences with up to 27 units.

Of the for-sale homes, 15% will be considered affordable, and 10% of the rental units would meet other affordability criteria for workforce dwelling units, the proposal states.

Additional multifamily buildings with up to 280 units and 210 units would be allowed sometime in the future.

“Together with the surrounding community and Metro, EYA, Hoffman & Associates and Rushmark Properties, have created a thoughtful design,” WMATA said when it announced the development agreement. “The project is the result of a multi-year effort between Metro, the development team, and Fairfax County…to enhance an underutilized asset.”

The outdoor spaces would include a 20,600 square-foot park, a 33,300 square-foot transit plaza, and an approximately 8,100 square-foot nature area with benches and bicycle racks.

Additionally, a 19,500 square-foot, fenced dog park could be created at the northwest corner of Haycock Road and the Metro access road. According to Painter, the area would also feature horseshoe games, disc golf practice baskets, and picnic tables.

Fairfax County made way for the proposed construction in July, when the Board of Supervisors approved a comprehensive plan amendment permitting mixed-use development in the West Falls Church Transit Station Area.

The amended plan also allows for a redevelopment of Virginia Tech’s Northern Virginia Center campus on Haycock Road, though the university killed its proposed expansion in March and has not announced any replacement projects since.

With the new development expected to bring more residents and traffic, the county initiated an effort on Dec. 13 to study options for improving the area’s transportation network, which community members have said is already unsafe and inadequate for the anticipated new demand.

WMATA has previously said that construction on its redevelopment project will begin in 2023.

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