What All City Leaders Can Learn from Virginia’s Latest Development
The City of Falls Church carefully selected a renowned development team to support their 10.3-acre economic development project with the help of A&M’s P3 Infrastructure Real Estate Advisory team. Leaders of cities nationwide can take away four key lessons when vetting and selecting their next development team:
1. Select a long-term partner – with a 99-year ground lease in the works, the City sought a partner that could weather financial, market, interpersonal, and political storms.
2. Clearly state required and desired features – Outlining the “must haves” and “nice to haves” in its RFP, Falls Church signaled their definition of success to potential developments and reduced the risk of retrading later.
3. Consider long term value – Though upfront land value was critical, Falls Church never lost sight of the long-term fiscal impact that commercial uses could bring, in an otherwise residentially-focused municipality.
4. Balance the desire for civic uses – Though the committed development program generates significant value, City leaders consistently prioritized public and civic spaces that will create an attractive place for residents and visitors.
The project, which a prior analysis by Alvarez & Marsal estimated could come in at just under 1.1 million square feet, is expected to stem some of the ridership losses seen at the West Falls Church Metro since the Silver Line opened for service.