Community Alignment Opens Door to Big Development in Falls Church, Virginia
With a median household income of about $115,000 and a poverty level of 3.6 percent (according to the US Census Bureau), Falls Church has been ranked multiple times as one of the best places to live in the United States. USA Today named it the best place to live in America based on education, poverty, and life expectancy. US News & World Report identified it as the country’s healthiest community. It’s home to great public schools, and 98 percent of residents hold high school diplomas. Eighty percent have a bachelor’s degree or higher. But Falls Church isn’t a county. It’s an independent city, with a strong identity and resistance to urbanization that doesn’t have clear long-term benefits for its community. That’s part of the reason “The Little City” has much more of a small-town feel compared to the high-rise urban pockets around the Rosslyn, Clarendon, and Ballston metros. Falls Church has recently become more open to development, in part to broaden their tax base, but developing there requires projects to solidly align with community needs.