Arlington, VA

Work is now set to kick off on a major redevelopment project in Clarendon, with a “luxury fitness club” set to become the first tenant to move into the new, Whole Foods-adjacent building.

The developers controlling the Market Common Clarendon properties, located along the 2700 and 2800 blocks of Clarendon Blvd, announced yesterday (Wednesday) that they’re ready to start construction on an at-times controversial project transforming the old Clarendon Education Center into new office and retail space.

Eventually, Regency Centers plans to add a fourth floor and outdoor terrace to the current building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd, expanding it over an adjacent structure and adding more space in the process. The company is dubbing the building the “Loft Office at Market Common,” with plans to lease out about 145,000 square feet of space in the coming years.

The new development, located across Clarendon Blvd from Market Common’s other property known as “The Loop,” has attracted plenty of criticism over the years.

The building set to be revamped was once home to the popular live music venue the IOTA Club, and many people around the county’s arts scene have lamented the club’s closure as a result of this redevelopment effort, which was approved by the County Board last January.

But the project’s backers are marketing the work as a potentially transformative effort for the entire neighborhood.

“Our team is transforming an obsolete office building into a cutting-edge, mixed use destination by combining best-in-class retail and dining options on the street level, the nation’s premier luxury fitness club on the second level, and two levels of loft-style office space across from the only Whole Foods in the corridor,” Jason Yanushonis, Regency Center’s manager of investments, said in a statement. “Repositioning this building is a critical component to our overall investment strategy at Market Common. We feel like we are hitting the market at the right time with this truly unique space offering.”

The company said in a release that the aforementioned “luxury fitness” company will lease 5,000 square feet of space on the building’s first floor, and the entire, 26,000-square-foot second floor. However, Regency Centers is staying mum on which fitness studio, exactly, is on the way.

“We can’t say specifically just yet, but we are very much looking forward to being able to share that in the future,” spokesman Eric Davidson told ARLnow.

Permit applications from late last year appear to show cycling studio SoulCycle targeting the development for its first Virginia expansion, though those seemed to indicate it would be located in the Market Common retail space across the street from the new building —  Davidson would not address whether SoulCycle is the tenant in question for the new space.

As for the rest of the building, the company says there’s another 23,000 square feet of retail space available on its first floor and “86,000 square feet of creative office space available on the lower level, third and fourth floors.”

The company “primarily” hopes to attract “tech firms, IT firms and government contractors” for that space, the release said.

Regency Centers hasn’t settled on a firm opening date just yet, but is currently targeting the second quarter of 2020 to finish work on the project.

Just last month, the Baja Fresh restaurant adjacent to the soon-to-be redeveloped building abruptly shut down. However, it’s unclear if that was connected to this project or not.

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