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Monday, June 8, 2015

Huge sports and wellness complex proposed for Springfield

A rendering of the proposed St. James Sports and Wellness Complex. [St. James Group]
A huge sports and wellness center, with swimming pool, basketball courts, batting cages, indoor field house, spa, and much more has been proposed for the 6800 block of Industrial Road in Springfield.

The 436,000-square foot St. James Sports and Wellness Complex would be developed by the St. James Group, which is led by Kendrick Ashton Jr. and Craig Dixon.

In 2013, Ashton and Dixon tried to build a sports complex in Hensley Park in Alexandria, but withdrew their proposal after a covenant was discovered prohibiting such a facility on that property, the Washington Business Journal reports. At that time, they vowed to find another location in the area.

In addition to the uses cited above, the complex would have an ice skating rink, laser tag, personal training center, yoga studios, golf simulators, volleyball courts, squash courts, gymnastics, rock climbing wall, obstacle course, multipurpose rooms, child care, retail, and food service.

The Fairfax County Board of Zoning Appeals has scheduled a hearing on the sports complex on Oct. 21. The 20-acre site, between Backlick Road and Interstate 395 in Mason District, is zoned I-6 (heavy industrial district). The application does not need to go before the Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors.

“Certain uses in the county to go the Board of Zoning Appeals, including indoor recreation uses,” rather than the Planning Commission, said Brent Krasner, branch chief for the BZA. “There will still be opportunities for comment.” The biggest issue is likely to be traffic, he  predicted.

The facility would be open 24 hours a day, the application for a special permit states. It would serve about 1,240 people on a normal day and up to 900 additional people at special events. There would be 51 employees and more than 700 parking spaces.

The property is currently owned by Washington Gas. A three-story concrete structure on the site would be removed, an existing parking lot would be reconfigured, and a transmission tower would be relocated.

“The applicants are pleased to bring this holistic sports programming and wellness concept to the Northern Virginia area,” the statement of justification says. “The establishment of this type of facility in our area is long overdue. The combination of sports and wellness activities at the St. James Sports and Wellness Complex will help alleviate the burden currently placed on parents and other caregivers who have to travel to multiple sporting locations in pursuit of these activities. The facility will provide opportunities for everyone to care for their own physical well-being in one convenient location.”

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