On Thursday, Oct. 18, Fairfax County and Wesley Hamel Lewinsville LLC held a ribbon cutting for The Fallstead, an 82-unit independent senior living residence, located at 1609 Great Falls Street in McLean.
The event was attended by John Foust, Dranesville District Supervisor; Jeff McKay, Lee District Supervisor; Cathy Hudgins, Hunter Mill District Supervisor; Virginia State Senator, Barbara Favola; Virginia State Delegate, Richard “Rip” Sullivan; Fairfax County Executive, Bryan Hill; Melissa Jonas, Dranesville District Commissioner to the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority; Shelley Murphy, President and CEO of Wesley Housing; Susan Dewey, Executive Director of Virginia Housing Development Authority; Paul Kohlenberger, president of the Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce; and Terry Kenny, Market President, TD Bank Mid-South Region, as well as other civic leaders, neighbors and future residents of the facility.
The 8.66-acre site of the Lewinsville Senior Center Campus at one time housed an elementary school that was constructed in 1961. In 1994, the County approved a Special Exception that permitted a 22-bed independent living facility, a senior center providing activities for up to 50 adults, an adult day care center for up to 40 adults, child care for up to 210 children, and an athletic area with a rectangular field and a diamond. In 2004, the County approved a Special Exception Amendment (SEA) which would have maintained those uses and added a 60-unit assisted living facility.
Before Supervisor Foust took office in 2008, the project to renovate and expand the facility had stalled. Foust asked the Department of Housing and Community Development staff to restart efforts to implement the project. However, it became apparent that the cost to construct and operate an affordable assisted living facility would be prohibitive. As a result, in 2012, Supervisor Foust asked County staff to determine whether a public-private partnership could be used to construct and operate an affordable independent living facility at the site.
In March 2015, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a comprehensive agreement to demolish the existing building and redevelop the facility through a creative private-public partnership with Wesley Hamel Lewinsville LLC.
The Fallstead is the first phase of the County’s efforts to create a multi-generational community at the Lewinsville site. Early in 2019, a second building on the site will open. It will include an expanded adult day care center, a senior center and two child day care centers. That building is being constructed and will be operated by Fairfax County.
“This is a great day for seniors in McLean and all of Fairfax County. The need for affordable housing for seniors is here and it is growing. It is a real challenge to provide quality housing for low-income seniors. That is why projects like The Fallstead are so important.” said Foust. “I have looked forward to this day for years. I am grateful to everyone who helped make it happen. And I am very happy for the many seniors who will soon be able to call this awesome place their home” he said.