Fight Back Against Mold Illness with Help from Proactive Wellness Centers

CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment in Falls Church, VA

Experiencing mold toxicity is a terrifying thought for most people. Although it may seem like an interesting concept for a medical drama, nobody wants to experience the effects of mold exposure firsthand.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in wet environments, such as under tiles, wood floors, and ceilings, pipes, and roofs. While several types of mold exist, some are more hazardous than others, and some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to mycotoxins, the toxins that mold naturally produces. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold, or the types of mold that trigger health problems, can lead to mold toxicity and even CIRS - Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome is typically acquired after exposure to mold or other producers of biotoxins, usually from damaged water buildings.

If you believe that you're suffering from mold toxicity or mold illness, it can seem like the world is folding in on you. No matter what you do, your symptoms persist, lowering your quality of life and eliminating your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is reason to be hopeful: Proactive Wellness Centers now offers a research-backed, highly effective mold illness poisoning treatment in Falls Church, VA for men and women just like yourself and your children as well if they have been impacted.

Service Areas

Understanding

CIRS and Mold Toxicity

CIRS and mold illness are on the rise, and accurate diagnosis of the issue plays a major role in this trend. Thanks to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, there is a huge body of evidence that covers diagnosing and treating patients with CIRS. Dr. Lawson is one of less than 30 practitioners in the United States that are fully certified by Dr. Shoemaker for diagnosing and treating CIRS. The body of evidence by Shoemaker and many associates is the largest body of scientific evidence that is published in major medical journals. Around 80% of CIRS/Mold cases are caused by indoor air contaminated with mold toxins and other triggers. However, it's important to note that CIRS can also be caused by biotoxin producers such as cyanobacteria and a marine dinoflagellate that produces the Ciguatera toxin found in certain types of fish.

When mold or biotoxins are not processed effectively, a series of biochemical changes known as the Biotoxin Pathway occur. Genetic studies have revealed that approximately 24% of individuals have a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to developing an illness related to mold or biotoxins. The remaining 76% of the population can typically eliminate these toxins from their system and avoid the development of the Biotoxin Pathway that can lead to various diseases.

CIRS Treatment In Falls Church Falls Church, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Misdiagnosis

CIRS and mold exposure symptoms overlap with many other chronic illnesses, which makes diagnosis challenging and can even lead to missed diagnosis of CIRS. Based on research from Proactive Wellness Centers, CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed. Some of the most common misdiagnoses include:

  • Lupus
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • PTSD
  • More

Lyme disease, in particular, is often misdiagnosed. We have treated a number of patients whose symptoms were in line with Lyme disease. Fortunately, we were able to confirm the presence of CIRS and mold and were able to successfully help those patients using CIRS treatment in Falls Church, VA.

Note that many of these patients have CIRS and Lyme disease and in that case, it is necessary to treat both in order for full recovery. Treating one or the other will invariably leave the patient with debilitating symptoms and even more frustration with their medical team. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we are skilled In diagnosing and treating both.

 VA Falls Church, VA
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Falls Church Falls Church, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Symptoms

If you're reading this page, chances are you're concerned that you might have CIRS or some form of mold poisoning. You may be wondering what you have - is it CIRS, or is it something else like Lyme disease? We can't provide the answer to that question without consultation and testing at our wellness center in Virginia. However, there are common symptoms of CIRS and mold toxicity you should know.

Some of the most common symptoms of CIRS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased Word Finding
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Morning Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Tingling
  • Night Sweats
  • Frequent Urination
  • Confusion
  • Mood Swings

Proactive Wellness Centers'

Tools for Diagnosing Mold Sickness and CIRS

Identifying and confirming if a patient is being impacted by CIRS and identifying the cause and source of the biotoxin are the two main steps in diagnosing CIRS and Mold Exposure. To diagnose CIRS and Mold Exposure, the following diagnostic tools are commonly used:

To learn more about the debilitating symptoms of mold sickness and to find out whether you have CIRS or something else, contact Proactive Wellness Centers. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

 VA Falls Church, VA

Hope for Patients with CIRS: Proactive Wellness Centers' Mold Illness Treatment in Falls Church, VA

Our approach to treating CIRS utilizes integrative and functional medicine, The Shoemaker Protocol along with the latest evidence-based approaches to treating mold illness and the related secondary issues that it causes. We begin by utilizing advanced diagnostics to confirm the presence of the condition and identify the specific environment causing continued exposure to biotoxins. Next, we take a stepwise approach to halt the progression of the disease, eliminate biotoxins from the body, and reverse any damage to cellular structures. Our goal is to help patients achieve a full recovery.

To do this, we not only have to identify the primary condition like CIRS or Lyme disease, but we then have to continue looking to see if you have any of the common secondary conditions like reactivated EBV, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and others. Once we understand the totally of your condition, then we can implement a treatment plan tailored for you. Yes, it will leverage the Shoemaker protocol, but we have found that we have to extend the protocol to cover the secondary issues that we uncover.

The steps we follow to reach that goal include:

In order to initiate the recovery process, it is important to address and resolve any affected areas, or, alternatively, relocate the patient from that environment if necessary. Prolonged exposure to mold can hinder the success of the treatment plan and impede the healing process.

Two commonly used binding agents in the process of treating Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome are Welchol and Cholestyramine. Cholestyramine is particularly effective in binding biotoxins that are processed in the liver's bile ducts and helps to eliminate them from the body. It has been scientifically proven, through placebo-controlled studies, to reverse multiple aspects of the inflammatory process associated with CIRS.

Many individuals experiencing mold sickness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses may have a staph infection called MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci) residing deep in their nasal cavities. This infection is resistant to antibiotics and needs to be eliminated for the patient to fully recover.

Each patient requires a customized plan based on the affected areas and CIRS severity. Retesting is necessary after each step to confirm balance restoration. Testing may include some or all of the following:
  • VIP
  • TGF Beta 1
  • MMP9
  • ADH
  • Antigliadin
  • Androgen Imbalance
  • C4a
  • More

In order to halt the growth of mold fungi, patients need to avoid foods that can cause mycotoxins. Some examples of these foods include:
  • Barley
  • Cottonseed
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Black Pepper
  • Figs
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Beans
  • More
Proactive Wellness has a proven track record of treating patients who have experienced severe health issues without any clear explanation. Unlike other "syndromes," our diagnosis process involves specific tests to confirm a diagnosis rather than simply ruling out other diseases.
 CIRS Mold Poisoning Treatment In Falls Church Falls Church, VA

Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Chronic Pain Syndrome are examples of illnesses that are often diagnosed without such confirmatory tests. If you are experiencing unexplained health issues or have been exposed to water-damaged buildings, it is possible that you are suffering from CIRS or a mold illness.

The good news is that we can diagnose and address this disease with a mold illness treatment program in Falls Church, VA tailored to your body and your symptoms. That way, we can help you regain your health as soon as possible.

Be Wary of These

5 Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold spores can easily be brought into your home on your shoes or clothing or through open windows or doors. If these spores can find a warm, damp, humid environment, they can begin to multiply. Soon, your home can be filled with toxic mold. If you think mold has invaded your home or another environment, like in an office or warehouse, it's important for you to know about the symptoms.

Unfortunately, diagnosing mold issues can be exceptionally difficult. But why? The answer can be quite frustrating.

Understanding the Difficulty of Diagnosing Mold Symptoms

Many doctors fail to recognize the impact of mycotoxins emitted by certain indoor mold species, which can lead to chemical and inflammatory reactions. While conventional medicine acknowledges that mold can cause allergies, it may overlook this crucial aspect of mold-related health issues.

This can happen for several reasons:

  • Standardized treatment protocols for mold toxicity are offered mostly by Functional/Integrative physicians as the conventional physicians are not on board despite over 20 years of published research. Due to this issue, patients spend precious months/years going from doctor to doctor in the conventional channel with no answers.
  • Though ERMI testing has been accepted in the integrative/functional medical community, there isn't a "gold standard" in mold testing that is universally accepted.
  • Mold symptoms can manifest in vastly different ways depending on the patient.
VA Falls Church, VA

After understanding the points above, it's no wonder that mold poisoning can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, integrative and functional holistic medicine providers and wellness centers like Proactive Wellness are flipping the proverbial script. Unlike traditional clinics, our team considers environmental factors that can affect patient health and has advanced training to provide mold poisoning treatment in Falls Church, VA.

Now that you understand why mold symptoms are so hard to diagnose let's take a closer look at five of the most common indicators of mold sickness.

 Mold Toxicity Symptoms Falls Church, VA

Fatigue

Fatigue is probably the number one symptom of well over 90% of CIRS patients. The level of fatigue varies from 5 on a 10 point scale all the way to 10 on a 10 point scale. Many patients can no longer work or remain productive as in the worst cases, the fatigue is overwhelming. College students living in moldy dorms frequently have to drop out of school until the illness is treated effectively. Older adults have to retire or stop working due the fatigue. If you have overwhelming fatigue, CIRS may be a major contributor to your illness.

 Mold Poisoning Symtoms Falls Church, VA

Breathing Problems

Exposure to mold can cause a host of respiratory problems, such as breathing difficulties, allergies, and asthma, especially in individuals with a weakened immune system. Mold can worsen asthma, irritate the nasal passages, lungs, and throat, and lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Other health issues such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sinus congestion, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis have also been associated with mold sickness.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Treatment Falls Church, VA

Sadness and Depression

Mold can cause a variety of illnesses that can show up in different ways, such as psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, concentration problems, and memory loss. It has been reported that nearly 40% of people who live in moldy homes experience depression. Researchers suggest that exposure to toxic mold and dealing with the physical symptoms of mold illness can contribute to mental health issues.

Due to this phenomenon, many mold patients are given antidepressant medications in the conventional channels.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Symptoms Falls Church, VA

Feeling "Pins and Needles"

Numbness, twitching, or tingling in the extremities, such as hands, feet, legs, and arms, is another symptom of mold illness. The sensation is similar to pins and needles, which are often felt when the body is held in an uncomfortable position for a long time. While this sensation can indicate serious nerve damage or disease, it can also be a symptom of mold sickness.

CIRS Treatment In Falls Church Falls Church, VA

Digestion Problems and Disorders

When exposed to mold, individuals may experience various digestive problems. Some may lose their appetite, leading to unintentional weight loss. Others may suffer from stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Furthermore, the influx of mold spores may trigger systemic inflammation, causing bloating and weight gain due to the digestive system's exposure to harmful mold.

Top Tips for

Controlling Mold in Your Environment

It's not possible to completely eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home or place of work. However, since mold spores need moisture to grow, the best way to prevent or get rid of growth is to reduce the moisture in your environment. If you already have mold growing there, it's important to clean it up and address the issue causing dampness. If you only clean up the mold and don't address the underlying problem, the mold is likely to return.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture throughout your home or office:

  • Use A/C or Dehumidifiers. This is especially important if you live in a hot, humid area of the United States.
  • Ensure A/C drip pans are clean, dry, and obstruction-free.
  • Thoroughly dry areas that are damp or wet within 48 hours.
  • Be sure to install insulation in cold areas like your home's exterior walls and windows. Doing so will reduce condensation.
  • Work with an HVAC company to check your HVAC system. Doing so can help ensure your unit is removing as much humidity as possible.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 60% whenever possible.
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Falls Church Falls Church, VA
 VA Falls Church, VA

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in your kitchen:

  • Check for leaks near your ice makers, sinks, and anywhere else water is present.
  • Make sure your exhaust fans are directing moisture outside, not into your attic.
  • If you notice your appliances are causing moisture on windows and other surfaces, turn them off as soon as you're done using them.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in crawlspaces:

  • Use a plastic covering on the dirt in your crawlspace. Doing so will prevent moisture from saturating the ground.
  • Ensure that your crawlspace or basement is ventilated well.
  • Check your home's gutters. Make sure they're directing water away from your property, not toward your foundation or crawlspace.

Your Top Choice for

Mold Toxicity Treatment in Falls Church, VA

Trying to "tough it out" through life with CIRS isn't any way to live. If you're suffering from the effects of biotoxin illness, you should know that there are solutions available to help you reclaim your health and your life. With the help of a can-do attitude, healthy living, and mold illness treatment from Proactive Wellness, there's light at the end of the dark tunnel you're trapped within. Contact our office today to get started on your first step toward recovery!

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Latest News in Falls Church, VA

When, How To Get Rid Of Live Christmas Trees In Falls Church 2024

For City of Falls Church and Fairfax County collection customers, live Christmas tree collections are coming up.FALLS CHURCH, VA — Once Christmas comes and goes, residents will need to get rid of their live Christmas trees in the coming days. Christmas tree recycling will be provided in the coming days by the City of Falls Church, Fairfax County and private collectors.The time to say farewell to your live Christmas tree will depend on when you got it, what condition it is in, and whether it was properly watered....

For City of Falls Church and Fairfax County collection customers, live Christmas tree collections are coming up.

FALLS CHURCH, VA — Once Christmas comes and goes, residents will need to get rid of their live Christmas trees in the coming days. Christmas tree recycling will be provided in the coming days by the City of Falls Church, Fairfax County and private collectors.

The time to say farewell to your live Christmas tree will depend on when you got it, what condition it is in, and whether it was properly watered.

Live Christmas trees can pose a fire hazard as they dry out, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The organization says Christmas tree fires aren't common but can grow quickly when they occur. Nearly one in three Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical issues, and one in five are due to a heat source too close to the tree.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends getting rid of your live Christmas tree after Christmas or when it is dried out. Once removed, Christmas trees should not be left in homes, garages or leaning against homes.

In the City of Falls Church, Christmas trees will be collected by curbside collection services on Wednesdays in January and February, except on observed city holidays. The first two weeks of January are recommended to ensure quick collection. All decorations and plastic bags must be removed from trees, including rope and tinsel.

Residents who live in apartments and condominiums should take their trees for recycling at the Fairfax County I-66 Transfer Station at 4618 W. Ox Road, Fairfax, VA 22030. The facility closes at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 31 and remains closed on Monday, Jan. 1 for the New Year's holiday.

For Fairfax County collection customers in select parts of the county, live Christmas trees will be collected from Jan. 2 to 15. Lights, decorations and stands must be removed before collection. After Jan. 15, county collection customers can schedule a special brush pickup.

If you don't receive curbside collection services from the City of Falls Church or Fairfax County, check collection policies with your private hauler.

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Later Start Time Approved For Falls Church Secondary Schools

FALLS CHURCH, VA — As the end of the term approaches for the current Falls Church School Board, a proposal to adopt later start times at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and Meridian High School was approved Tuesday.The school board voted 5-2 to move the school start time 20 minutes later at the secondary schools. Starting next school year (2024-2025), school would start at 8:30 a.m. School will end by 3:10 p.m. Currently, the middle and high schools run from 8:05 a.m. to 3 p.m."The gold standard is to start second...

FALLS CHURCH, VA — As the end of the term approaches for the current Falls Church School Board, a proposal to adopt later start times at Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School and Meridian High School was approved Tuesday.

The school board voted 5-2 to move the school start time 20 minutes later at the secondary schools. Starting next school year (2024-2025), school would start at 8:30 a.m. School will end by 3:10 p.m. Currently, the middle and high schools run from 8:05 a.m. to 3 p.m.

"The gold standard is to start secondary no earlier than 830 [a.m.] because of teenage sleep patterns and mental health and that sort of thing," said School Board Chair Laura Downs.

The change at secondary schools has an impact on elementary schools. A 9 a.m. start was proposed for Mount Daniel Elementary School and Oak Street Elementary School. Proposed end times were 4 p.m. for Oak Street Elementary and 3:50 p.m. at Mount Daniel Elementary School. The elementary schools currently run from 8:50 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.

Jessie Thackrey Preschool already starts at 7:45 a.m., as hours were adjusted earlier this school year. Under the new proposal, the end time could be pushed from 2 p.m. to 2:20 p.m.

Before the vote, School Board members Lori Silverman and David Ortiz voiced opposition to the proposal due to the effect on elementary school start times.

There was more of a split on a following motion to make permanent early release Wednesdays. The School Board approved the measure with a 4-3 vote, but some members raised concerns about the impact on working parents.

"I know that there are parents who find early release Wednesdays difficult and of course, they want to support their teachers, but nonetheless, they do find these difficult in terms of childcare," said Downs.

Silverman brought up an equity concern with the proposal.

"It's a hardship on many working parents and many families," said Silverman. "But the biggest issue to me is the inequity of this current policy in order to have early release Wednesdays, because it really I think exacerbates the disparities between children who have abilities to do extracurriculars and other children who do not have those financial abilities and logistical abilities to do all those extracurriculars."

Superintendent Peter Noonan said FCCPS may be able to provide additional daycare support on Wednesdays if it can provide the staffing. With additional staff, the superintendent aims to provide 30 more daycare slots, both at Mount Daniel Elementary and Oak Street Elementary.

"We currently staffed daycare at 15 to one, so in order to stay in compliance, I think if we could get two more people at each site, that would open 30 more opportunities," said Noonan. "Right now, we serve almost 200 students at both Mount Daniel and Oak Street on Wednesdays already. So I'm not sure exactly what the need is. But it gives us an opportunity to kind of get a sense for what the need is and at least get started thinking about hiring some people."

Noonan believes it will be possible to draw staff from within the system, including parents, clinic employees, and high school seniors who have a last period study hall. FCCPS will also have to assess space for additional daycare.

At Tuesday's meeting, the school board also approved the 2025-2026 school year calendar. The board welcomed new members Amie Murphy and Bethany Henderson along with the returning Jerrod Anderson, who were elected to four-year terms in November. Two other members whose terms end on Dec. 31 were honored— Downs and Susan Dimock.

What Is the Future of Eden Center?

On a Saturday afternoon in July, the popular bubble tea shop TeaDM in Falls Church is bustling with energy: People are chatting over cooling drinks like the signature sea salt coffee, a refreshing Vietnamese brew with sea salt cream. The interior is decked out like a futuristic airplane and sounds like a party, pumping out electronic dance music.The boba shop, one of four TeaDM locations (all in NoVA), sits in ...

On a Saturday afternoon in July, the popular bubble tea shop TeaDM in Falls Church is bustling with energy: People are chatting over cooling drinks like the signature sea salt coffee, a refreshing Vietnamese brew with sea salt cream. The interior is decked out like a futuristic airplane and sounds like a party, pumping out electronic dance music.

The boba shop, one of four TeaDM locations (all in NoVA), sits in Eden Center, the historic Vietnamese shopping center on Wilson Boulevard in Falls Church that’s home to around 115 restaurants, shops, and markets. The owner, Jay Tran, 36, opened this location in 2016; he moved to the U.S. from Vietnam in 2006.

Even though Tran’s company is expanding and enjoying steady business, he says it’s a challenge to stand out and stay afloat at Eden Center — particularly with a monthly rent of around $15,000 that goes up by 3 percent each year.

“There’s always competition around. I have a bubble tea shop, but there’s like 10 or 15 bubble tea shops around,” Tran says.

Like many of Eden Center’s business owners, Tran has been tuned in to recent city plans to make changes to the site of the shopping center and is eager to learn how they would affect business, parking, and more. On June 26, after a year and a half of deliberation, the City of Falls Church unanimously approved the East End Small Area Plan, a proposal for redevelopment and reinvestment of a 10-block zone that includes Eden Center and part of Seven Corners. Since the plan’s inception, quite a few small-business owners and their advocates have been worried about being priced out of this beacon of Vietnamese culture.

The 161-page document reads like an urban planner’s fantasy. If implemented, the plan would make the area much more pedestrian friendly, break up long blocks into shorter ones, add bike lanes, build indoor parking to reduce the current sprawl, make space for plenty of outdoor dining, establish a true public gathering space (currently, Eden Center holds various festivals in the parking lot), create “pocket parks” with Wi-Fi, and construct play spaces for children.

There’s also a suggestion of a “themed boutique hotel” for the many out-of-town visitors who make Eden Center their destination. There are nods to Vietnamese culture, including establishing a cultural center with language classes, erecting murals and other public art, and night markets. Overall, the plan imagines an “international town center,” rather than the current uninspiring strip mall area, with residences mixed in among businesses.

A walkable zone that replaces unsightly suburban sprawl, green space, art that honors the community — it all sounds pretty appealing on first glance. But some business owners and community members see different writing on the wall: All those upgrades could lead to higher rents, which could then lead to displacement — not tomorrow, but years down the road. The concerns aren’t unfounded. This is exactly what happened in the early 1980s, when many Vietnamese businesses were forced to leave an area of Clarendon then known as “Little Saigon” as Metro construction began and property values rose. Many relocated to what’s now known as Eden Center.

“I have a lot of customers coming here … but adding more business means competition,” says Tran. “That’s definitely a worry for not only me, but many other businesses in here. Eden Center is a very special shopping center. I think everyone should be heard because a lot of businesses, not all of us are doing well. Many of us are struggling.”

City officials stress that the plan is hardly binding — it’s simply a guide. “I think early on, there was an unfortunate use of the word ‘redevelopment,’” says Falls Church Vice Mayor Letty Hardi. “That created lots of consternation and for the right reasons, because we all want the Eden Center to be preserved. But there really are no bulldozers coming for the Eden Center. And I think a lot of the concerns were unfounded.”

Alan Frank, general counsel and senior vice president of Capital Commercial Properties, which owns the entire property, says, “Eden Center is a special place, and we plan to keep it that way,” adding that there’s “no pending or planned redevelopment.”

The project has come a long way since the city originally began discussing it in November 2021. Early in the process, many of the business owners, particularly those who speak primarily Vietnamese, weren’t aware of the plans. But thanks to an advocacy group called Viet Place Collective that’s made up primarily of second- and third-generation Vietnamese Americans, a series of pop-up meetings was held at Eden Center to let business owners be heard.

“Immigrant communities, especially folks whose English is limited, face barriers to civic participation; our organizing aims to break down those barriers by translating, building trust, offering multiple ways to take action, and empowering folks to speak up about what concerns them,” a statement from the collective reads.

Viet Place Collective has urged the city to make anti-displacement a primary goal of the small-area plan, which includes taking steps to preserve legacy businesses; hiring a Vietnamese-speaking community outreach specialist; and providing businesses with services such as pro-bono or discounted legal assistance, construction disruption mitigation, and a neighborhood business incubator. The group has encouraged the city to increase how much parking the center has, as well as to commission Vietnamese artists for any public art and to rename the area Little Saigon East.

“Eden Center is near and dear to us, as young Vietnamese and Asian Americans, as a place where Vietnamese culture is preserved and celebrated,” says the collective. “For those who fled Vietnam due to the Vietnam war, Eden Center reminds them of their home; for those who were born from those immigrants, Eden Center is the setting of many of our childhood memories here. As the center of the Vietnamese community in the DMV, Eden Center keeps alive our culture that is threatened with societal pressures of assimilation.”

Anti-displacement language figures prominently in the final city plan. But nothing will happen unless it’s funded, and it remains to be seen whether the city will fund and pilot anti-displacement efforts. The collective says it plans to hold the city accountable. There will be opportunities to secure funding in the 2025 budget, which the city begins discussing in December, and in the City Council Work Plan after the new council takes office in January 2024.

“This plan is a plan of displacement,” unless the city commits to funding its promises, said Derek Hyra at the Falls Church Planning Commission hearing on June 7. Hyra is a Falls Church city planning commissioner and American University urban policy professor whose research focuses on neighborhood change.

Hyra, while praising the language of the plan, was the only city commissioner to vote against recommending it to the city council. In an interview, he provides a little context on the small-area plan. He explains that recent development in West Falls Church — a big mixed-use project is in the works near the West Falls Church Metro Station, on a site formerly occupied by George Mason High School — spurred planners to see where they could stimulate more economic development on the city’s east side as well. Additionally, he says, there’s a “ring road” project underway to try to improve traffic in Seven Corners, which is certain to spur rezoning and redevelopment.

Hyra stresses that development doesn’t happen in a vacuum — meaning that just because an owner doesn’t plan to redevelop the property doesn’t mean it’s impervious to redevelopment forever, especially once the area is rezoned.

“We change it from commercial to residential, and it instantly becomes more valuable when we make a zoning change to go to higher density … we raise the value of the land even if no redevelopment is done,” Hyra says. “Once the developer knows rezoning has happened and the value of the land goes up, they start getting offers from investors to do development. Also, even if nothing happens at the Eden Center, development is going to happen on the parcels that are adjacent to the Eden Center that are in Fairfax. Well, when the Fairfax properties get redeveloped, it will instantly raise the property value at the Eden Center.”

No matter what might happen, many business owners are concerned about issues such as parking, which is particularly challenging on busy weekends, and upkeep of the aging buildings.

The city hopes to invest in sidewalks, crosswalks, streetlights, and elements like banners that highlight the area as a gateway to Falls Church, says Paul Stoddard, planning director for Falls Church. “I think that’s what we’ll start to do on the public side — try to marshal some public funds to help highlight the area, make it a little safer for people to get around, people to walk,” he says.

Tran, who is younger than many of Eden Center’s other business owners, is trying to stay optimistic about the proposed plans. He says he would welcome more businesses and increased foot traffic if it meant better business for TeaDM. He’s also encouraged by any plans that improve parking, including the building of a garage. He says he has been lobbying the owners for improvements that would help spruce up outdated facades.

Other business owners are not as optimistic about the future. “We have a hard time trusting the city’s words, because in 2008 we had town halls with the city asking for help and assistance,” a business owner who chose to stay anonymous says through Viet Place Collective. “We did town hall meetings, we did city functions, to help with our rent because rent is too high. … Nobody helps us. I remember 34 years ago when … the same thing happened in Clarendon, where they came up with a plan to build apartments and new buildings but preserve the storefronts. They improved the streets — but then the Metro came, and the new buildings came, and we had to find a new place to go.”

Feature image courtesy Capital Commercial Properties

This story originally ran in our September issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine.

HITT Contracting Sets the Stage for a Sustainable Future, Unveiling Visionary Headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia

New net-zero-ready headquarters building will create more space and community for HITT team members and a collaborative educational hub for the built environmentFALLS CHURCH, Va., Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- HITT Contracting, a top national commercial construction firm, aspires to redefine the future of construction. With the unveiling of plans for their innovative six-stor...

New net-zero-ready headquarters building will create more space and community for HITT team members and a collaborative educational hub for the built environment

FALLS CHURCH, Va., Nov. 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- HITT Contracting, a top national commercial construction firm, aspires to redefine the future of construction. With the unveiling of plans for their innovative six-story, 270,000-square-foot headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia minutes from Washington, D.C., HITT seeks to drive real change through sustainability, research and development (R&D), and partnership.

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Sustainability Takes Center StageHITT's new headquarters, slated for completion in late 2026, is a testament to the company's commitment to sustainable building practices. The site will feature a remarkable 100,000-square-foot photovoltaic solar canopy, generating all energy needed for the building. Sustainability and R&D are paramount to the development, reflecting HITT's dedication to the neighborhood, the building community, and the environment. The planned office relocation to Haycock Road also provides more space within a lively community and better access to mass transit for HITT's 900+ local team members.

"We're ecstatic to continue growing in Fairfax County and aligning with the West Falls Church Metro station. We're thankful to the City of Falls Church, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Fairfax County for supporting our plans to build this cutting-edge development. We're deeply committed to being good stewards of the local community and the environment. I'm also thrilled that Virginia Tech is committed to maintaining their presence in Falls Church with the launch of the Coalition for Smart Construction – a research lab dedicated to the future of building," said HITT CEO Kim Roy.

Pioneering Education and InnovationHITT's headquarters will be a hub for education and innovation in construction as Virginia Tech has leased ground floor space for a Coalition for Smart Construction. This exciting partnership will enable the next generation of construction professionals and drive groundbreaking research and educational collaborations within the built community. Together, HITT and Virginia Tech envision a nationally recognized innovation hub that will advance building practices and ultimately shape the industry's future.

Thoughtful Design, Exceptional WorkspacesDesigned by Gensler, the headquarters reflects HITT's commitment to the environment and the well-being of its team members. The dynamic office features collaborative work zones, wellness facilities, a sprawling one-acre outdoor terrace with lush landscaping, and other amenities. The ground floor will feature a full-service conference center, café, and access to urban parks. An interconnecting stair leads to the second floor featuring team member amenities, collaboration spaces, and access to the roof deck. Four additional floors of offices offer dynamic workspaces designed with neurodivergence in mind to support a variety of working styles. The greater development will include more than 55,000 square feet of urban parks, including a 1,400-square-foot interactive digital experience pavilion designed to be a nucleus of the community where locals can gather.

Leading the Charge in R&DHITT's dedicated R&D team will focus on innovation by carrying out more than 20 research projects through the new headquarters. Notable ventures already in progress include a newly patented prefabricated building skin that reduces weight, increases speed to market, and creates more efficient buildings. HITT is pioneering the first use of the Caracol Heron AM robotic arm installed in the US for 3D printing, aimed to augment traditional construction methods, and implementing robotics on-site to support an enhanced experience for HITT's field team through technology-enabled workflows. HITT's mission is clear: explore new ways to build and share the findings with the industry.

"Traditionally, less than one percent of the construction industry's revenue is directed at advancing R&D. If we're going to overcome future challenges, we need to start now and work together across the entire industry. HITT is deeply invested in R&D and the new headquarters offers us a real opportunity to test new ideas," shared Megan Lantz, HITT's vice president of research and development. "In 2019, we built Co|Lab, our dedicated R&D hub, which was the first mass timber building in Virginia. It was truly cutting edge at the time, and we learned first-hand about the processes and material. Similarly, we will test emerging materials, methods, and technologies at this new headquarters and share what we learn with the industry."

HITT's longstanding partnership with Virginia Tech and the university's commitment to advancing smart construction led to the vision for an innovation hub, a true investment in the future of the built environment. The Virginia Tech Coalition for Smart Construction will lease and occupy 40,000 square feet on the building's ground floor.

"As we continue to grow our presence in the greater D.C. metro area, creating innovative industry partnerships will enable the future of smart construction," said Julie Ross, the Paul and Dorothea Torgersen Dean of Engineering at Virginia Tech. "The partnership with HITT Contracting will provide our students and faculty with a state-of-the-art facility built for collaboration. We're excited to see what we can do together."

HITT Co-Chairman Brett Hitt said, "One of the last big innovations in construction was post-tension concrete more than 50 years ago. As an industry, we have to do better to tackle the challenges of rising costs, labor shortages, and our environmental footprint. I believe that Virginia Tech will push the boundaries of construction by bringing its brilliant students to a space where they can work alongside our industry's brightest minds. Bringing industry and academia together under one roof will help us effect real change,"

For more information on HITT's groundbreaking new headquarters and the firm's journey to shape a brighter future through sustainability, R&D, education, and technology, visit hitt.com, or follow HITT's LinkedIn for further updates.

ABOUT HITT CONTRACTINGHITT Contracting provides a wide range of construction services across the nation, from complex core and shell buildings and renovations to interior fit-outs and routine service work. No matter the project size or type, HITT delivers a premium construction experience on every project it builds. With 2022 revenues of $5.41 billion and 1,600+ team members in 14 office locations nationwide, HITT is ranked as one of the top 20 largest general contractors in the U.S. For more than 85 years, the Washington, D.C. area-headquartered company has been elevating the business of building nationwide through innovation, research and development, sustainability, and by working tirelessly and intentionally to earn clients' trust by making every building experience exceptional. Learn more about HITT's general contracting capabilities at hitt.com

SOURCE HITT Contracting

HITT Contracting’s new Falls Church HQ will have huge solar canopy and research hub

HITT Contracting, whose portfolio includes some of the most high-profile building and redevelopment projects in the D.C. area, will move to a new Falls Church, Virginia, headquarters in late 2026. The campus will be focused on sustainability and next-generation construction technology.HITT will move from its longtime Falls Church headquarters at 2900 Fairview Park Drive to the new campus on Haycock Road, near the West Falls Church Metro.Virginia Tech has leased...

HITT Contracting, whose portfolio includes some of the most high-profile building and redevelopment projects in the D.C. area, will move to a new Falls Church, Virginia, headquarters in late 2026. The campus will be focused on sustainability and next-generation construction technology.

HITT will move from its longtime Falls Church headquarters at 2900 Fairview Park Drive to the new campus on Haycock Road, near the West Falls Church Metro.

Virginia Tech has leased 40,000 square feet on the ground floor for a new Coalition for Smart Construction research lab dedicated to the future of building, which will become a nationally recognized innovation hub for advancing building practices.

Virginia Tech already has a satellite campus at the site.

The six-story, 270,000-square-foot building will have a 100,000-square-foot photovoltaic solar canopy, which will generate enough energy to power the entire building. The 900-plus employees at the HQ will have access to wellness facilities, a conference center, cafe, collaboration spaces and a roof deck.

There will also be a one-acre outdoor terrace. In all, the campus will include more than 55,000 square feet of urban parks, including an interactive digital pavilion.

The headquarters was designed by D.C.-based architectural firm Gensler.

HITT will expand its research projects with the new space. Among research already underway is a newly patented, prefabricated building skin that reduces weight. HITT is pioneering the first use of the Caracol Heron AM robotic arm, installed in the U.S. for 3D printing.

HITT said only about 1% of the construction industry’s revenue is spent on research and development.

“If we’re going to overcome future challenges, we need to start now and work together across the entire industry. HITT is deeply invested in R&D and the new headquarters offers us a real opportunity to test new ideas,” said Megan Lantz, HITT’s vice president of research and development.

The headquarters will be part of a larger mixed-use development on Haycock Road by the West Falls Church Metro that HITT and Rushmark Properties are developing, which will also include residential and retail.

HITT, founded in 1937, is one of the largest general contractors in the nation, with offices in more than a dozen cities across the country.

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