Within The St. James, as they’re calling the 450,000-square-foot center at 6805 Industrial Road, they’ve included facilities for hockey, basketball, volleyball, baseball, swimming, climbing, gymnastics, golf, squash, health medicine and relaxation. They’ve got a restaurant conceived by a yet-unnamed celebrity chef, virtual reality gaming, trampolines and a water park.
“We wanted to create a destination where everybody in the family could pursue their passions whether they’re into team sports or individual sports or whether they’re just interested in an active entertainment experience,” Dixon said.
Check out site plans and renderings of The St. James in the gallery.
Construction of the complex, a project we’ve followed since it was first proposed for Hensley Park in the city of Alexandria four years ago (a pitch that was scuttled thanks to a nearly 40-year-old covenant), is well underway, with the steel frame largely in place. A ceremonial groundbreaking is scheduled for Thursday, featuring Washington Capitals’ superstar Alex Ovechkin and emcee Chick Hernandez of CSN Mid-Atlantic. The complex itself is scheduled to open in September 2018.
The 20-acre site, acquired from Washington Gas & Light Co. in June 2016 for $20.35 million, sits just northwest of the I-95/395/495 interchange between Backlick Road and Industrial Drive in the Shirley Industrial Park. The population within 10 miles is 1.2 million, though Ashton and Dixon say their catchment area is closer to 20 miles, given the distances most people will travel to participate in their chosen sport. There is only one sheet of ice, for example, for every 770,000 people in the region.
Dixon and Ashton declined to disclose the cost of their project — the largest complex of its kind in Greater Washington — except to say it is a “significant investment.” They are backed financially by Cain International, a global private equity firm, whose board includes Todd Boehly, a co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and CEO of Eldridge Industries, and Jonathan Goldstein, Cain’s CEO. The St. James’ team also includes developer Akridge, general contractor LF Jennings and architect HKS.
On Thursday, The St. James will launch its website, thestjames.co, and pre-opening sales of its various memberships. The facility, which will be open 24-hours a day, will offer youth and adult developmental sports programs, individual instruction, personal training, camps, clinics, leagues, tournaments and birthday parties. The facility will be capable of hosting as many as 2,141 people during special events, or roughly 1,200 during regular hours.
And about that track? It might never happen, but Ashton and Dixon are already thinking expansion.
“We do have some ideas around incremental opportunities around our campus,” Ashton said, “that we’ll be better prepared to talk about a later date.”
A rundown of what The St. James will include:
- FIFA regulation-sized turf field with 65-foot-tall roof clearance
- Two National Hockey League regulation-sized ice rinks, plus a hockey skills training center with skating treadmill
- Four full-length basketball courts convertible to nine volleyball courts
- 50-meter Olympic regulation-length competition pool
- Six batting cages with pitching machines, convertible into multipurpose training venue
- Eight squash singles courts
- Seven golf simulators
- Gymnastics training center with competition spring floor, deep foam training pits, Tumbl Trak, rod floors and in-ground trampolines
- Spa with nine treatment rooms and a cryotherapy chamber
- Health and sports medicine center
- 50,000-square-foot health club with cardio and strength training equipment, spinning, group fitness and yoga rooms, and a “high-performance training center”
- 20,000 square feet of obstacle courses, zip lines, climbing structures and walls, trampoline zones, virtual reality, a “gaming theatre” and party rooms
- Indoor water park with 6,000 square feet of slides, dumping buckets and sprayers
- Clothing and apparel boutique
- 900 parking spaces