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Market Common Clarendon Redevelopment Kicks Off, With New ‘Luxury Fitness Club’ On the Way

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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Jumping Joeys Children’s Gym Looks Bound for Market Common Clarendon

The Jumping Joeys children’s gym looks set to re-open in Market Common Clarendon, after closing in Virginia Square in 2017.

Jumping Joeys applied for a building permit at 2800 Clarendon Blvd late last year, according to Arlington Economic Development records.

It’s not immediately clear where the new gym would be located. But there’s currently only one vacant space on the second floor of the building at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, not far from the Pottery Barn store.

Representatives for the gym, which offers all manner of bounce-house-style activities for kids, didn’t respond to a request for comment on their plans.

Jumping Joeys currently operates another location at 402 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, and once had a space in an office park across from (the newly renamed) Washington-Liberty High School as well.

But that location shut down in November 2017, as the county eyes new uses for its much-discussed “Buck property,” where the gym was located. School officials are still studying the prospect of someday building a new school on the site, or perhaps new office space for staff. Deliberations on the matter very much remain ongoing.

As for Market Common itself, the development has seen a whole host of changes recently, and will eventually be part of a wider redevelopment of the block.

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Hair Salon, Dry Cleaner Shut Down in Market Common Clarendon

A pair of businesses in the Market Common Clarendon development have shut down in recent weeks.

Signs posted at Nolas Salon and the Georgetown Valet dry cleaners, located in the same building at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, inform would-be patrons that the shops have now closed permanently.

A sign posted on the salon’s window says that “while we are sad to be closing this store location, our employees will continue to serve your needs at other salons in the area.”

Some will be moving to Salon by JC in Ballston at 3865 Wilson Blvd, while others will head to Salon Lofts Clarendon at 3001 Washington Blvd.

Meanwhile, the sign posted at the cleaners says the shop shut down on Dec. 15.

According to its website, Georgetown Valet operates six locations in D.C., but no other shops in Arlington. The chain once operated a location in Virginia Square, but that shut down back in 2011.

The entire Market Common development has seen several new businesses move in over the course of the last few months, and will eventually be part of a major redevelopment of that section of Clarendon.

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New SoulCycle Studio Looks Bound for Clarendon

A new SoulCycle studio looks to be on the way for Clarendon, perhaps marking the chain’s first expansion into Northern Virginia.

Permit applications filed with Arlington County suggest that the cycling studio is targeting space at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, in “The Loop” section of the Market Common Clarendon development. The studio would sit next to the Apple store and the Origins cosmetics store.

Spokespeople for SoulCycle declined to comment on the matter.

Hilary Shure, marketing events manager for Market Common owner Regency Centers, added that “at this time we do not have a lease executed with any merchant” for the space in question.

“As always, we work to keep our merchant mix vibrant and entertain calls on a regular basis from interested entrepreneurs,” Shure told ARLnow via email.

But permit details on the county’s website show that a yet-to-be announced company is hoping to open a “new fitness studio on the first and second floor” of the development. The applicant has been working with county inspectors on the project since Nov. 5.

Regency is currently using the storefront to display information on the eventual redevelopment of its Market Common properties around Clarendon in the coming years.

It was also briefly home to the athletic retailer Lululemon, as the shop made a temporary move to account for renovation work at its original location this summer. The store moved back to its space at 2847 Clarendon Blvd in September.

SoulCycle, among the country’s most popular cycling studios, currently operates four locations in D.C.

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Baja Fresh in Clarendon Appears to Have Closed

The Baja Fresh Mexican Grill in Clarendon now seems to be closed.

The restaurant hasn’t been open during normal business hours since at least Wednesday (Dec. 12), and a variety of boxes and furniture are now strewn about the eatery, located at 2815 Clarendon Blvd.

No one answered the phone at the restaurant yesterday or today (Friday), making it unclear if the closure is temporary or permanent.

Baja Fresh’s future has frequently been in doubt over the last few years, as the owner of its building as eyed a major redevelopment of the whole block.

The County Board signed off on plans earlier this year to transform the area, calling for the renovation and expansion of several buildings along the 2800 blocks of Wilson and Clarendon Blvds, and the creation of a “ground level arcade” along the nearby N. Edgewood Street. The property owner, Regency Centers, has also overseen the “Market Common” redevelopment across Clarendon Blvd.

Should the restaurant indeed be shutting down, Arlington would be left without a Baja Fresh location. One in Rosslyn shut down back in 2013.

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Lululemon is Back in Original Clarendon Location

After a brief move across the street this summer, Lululemon is back home at 2847 Clarendon Blvd.

The athletic apparel retailer temporarily relocated to “The Loop”  at 2700 Clarendon Blvd earlier this summer while the main location underwent renovations.

The store moved back in and showed off its reconfigured interior last week with a grand reopening party.

Lululemon is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sunday. The location’s “Rooftop Sweat Series” continues above the renovated store tomorrow (Tuesday) at 6 p.m.

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Clarendon Apple Store Back Open Today, Following Brief Closure

The Clarendon Apple Store is back open today (Monday), after closing briefly over the weekend.

The shop at Market Common Clarendon started turning customers away Friday afternoon, citing a leak in the ceiling due to problems with the apartments above the store.

But an employee at the store told ARLnow that those problems have been resolved, and the shop is now open on its normal schedule once more.

One of the store’s hefty glass doors remains missing, however, still replaced with the black plywood visible from the store’s exterior Friday. Some stains remain visible on the store’s ceiling, and the shop’s large video screen along the back wall wasn’t turned on as of Monday morning.

The management company for the apartments above the Apple store, Avalon Clarendon, did not immediately respond to a request for comment seeking clarity on what caused the leak.

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Lululemon at Market Common Clarendon Moves for Renovations

Market Common Clarendon’s Lululemon store temporarily moved to “The Loop” this week as its 2847 Clarendon Blvd location undergoes renovations.

The athletic retailer announced the move on the store’s Facebook page Sunday (June 24). As of Tuesday evening, the store was still holding its “Rooftop Sweat Series” on the roof above its old store.

The new, temporary location at 2700 Clarendon Boulevard occupies the space previously taken by the Sabrina Cabada pop-up art gallery. The location neighbors the Apple store and Origins.

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Worker Hurt at Market Common Clarendon

A workplace accident sent one person to the hospital Tuesday morning.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. on the second level of the Market Common Clarendon shopping center.

Initial reports suggest that a worker fell 10-15 feet from a scaffolding, possibly suffering a broken leg. The injury was believed to be non-life threatening.

Photos by Melanie Pincus

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Gallery Clarendon Opens, Beginning Temporary Stay in Former Restaurant Space

(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Gallery Clarendon opened its doors Wednesday (June 20), using two floors of gallery and studio space to showcase the work of local artists.

Located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, the gallery is a temporary project of the Arlington Artists Alliance. It occupies the space vacated by Mexican restaurant Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in October 2016. Admission to the gallery is free, although pieces may be purchased, and there are plans to begin offering art classes within the next few weeks.

The length of Gallery Clarendon’s stay depends on when Regency Centers, which also operates the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, can find a permanent tenant for the site. Sandi Parker, managing director of galleries at the Arlington Artists Alliance, said they anticipate being open for at least a year.

“I always liken it to staging a house — it looks better when there’s something there,” Parker said. Regency Centers was “very generous to allow us to use the space,” she added.

The gallery is planning a grand opening for sometime in September, Parker said.

For both events, “we really want to engage with the Clarendon community,” Parker said. They plan to have “some of our potential teachers on site to work with kids,” and hope to partner with local businesses to elevate receptions, she added.

The art on display will change at opening receptions held on the second Friday of every month, Parker said. Reception attendees will have the opportunity to meet and converse with artists.

The gallery had aimed to open in April, but complications in obtaining an occupancy permit from the county caused delays.

“This is kind of a unique space in that it was originally a restaurant/bar… so it’s a change of use,” Parker said. Safety updates like replacing lights were also necessary after the space’s lengthy vacancy, she said.

Now that the gallery is open, Parker said they look forward to getting to know the Clarendon community.

“We’re excited,” she said. “We’re hoping that we’re going to meet a lot of Clarendon residents and… find a whole new market.”

Regency Centers operates several properties in Northern Virginia. Although Jan Hanak, the company’s vice president of marketing and communications, said he wasn’t aware of any other arrangements like this one, the corporation is  “certainly interested in those types of uses because it creates a certain type of buzz at the property and brings new people in.”

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Local Nonprofit Aims to Put Knitting on Display in Clarendon This Weekend

Local nonprofit Project Knitwell will celebrate World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday (June 9) with an event in the “The Loop” at Market Common Clarendon.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., community members can join Project Knitwell volunteers to learn how to knit, enter a raffle and experience the wellness benefits of knitting in person.

“We want to spread the word that working with your hands and knitting and making something can have health benefits,” Project Knitwell Executive Director Michelle Maynard told ARLnow. “The science is starting to catch up with what knitters and other crafters already know.”

World Wide Knit in Public Day launched in 2005 with 25 events around the world, according to its website. Last year, “there were at least a thousand, if not more of these events in 54 different countries,” Maynard said.

This event is Project Knitwell’s first in recognition of World Wide Knit in Public Day, and it joins a long list of programs the nonprofit has offered since its founding in 2010. Volunteers have taught knitting to patients and families at the Virginia Hospital Center, in after-school programs for at-risk youth and through summer programs for children and young adults with cancer.

Project Knitwell communicated with businesses located at Market Common and beyond to help put together a raffle basket and several prize bundles, Maynard said. The basket and bundles consist of items for knitters and non-knitters alike, including a $50 gift certificate to the Cheesecake Factory, hand-crafted needle point protectors and a number of yarns.

Raffle tickets will be $10 each or four for $20. The first 24 attendees will also receive a free cupcake from Williams-Sonoma, Maynard said. The event’s Facebook page recommends that attendees take the Metro to avoid road closures due to the Armed Forces Cycling Classic.

For first-time knitters, Maynard said she hopes the event demonstrates that knitting is fun.

“It’s something that is a great way to pass the time, whether you’re on public transportation or in a hospital waiting room,” Maynard said, “It’s a great alternative to [being on] your screen, and [instead] doing something with your hands that involves a rhythmic almost meditative aspect to it.”

File photo

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Free Concert Series Comes to Market Common Clarendon

Market Common Clarendon is hosting a free concert series called “Rock the Loop” from May through July.

The concerts are held from 6:30-8:30 p.m. every Thursday at “The Loop” in the shopping center.

Here’s the full concert schedule below:

  • May 17 – Gary Smallwood (Classic Rock/Blues)
  • May 24 – Shane Gamble (Country Rock)
  • May 31 – Driven to Clarity (Acoustic Covers)
  • June 7 –  Hand Painted Swinger (Pop Rock)
  • June 14 – Chris Bruno (Popular Covers)
  • June 21 – Yellow Tie Guy (Rock/Alternative/Folk)
  • June 28 – Smokin’ Lounge (Pop/Rock/Jazz)
  • July 5 – Brian Weber (Rock/Blues/Folk)
  • July 12 – Elizabeth, Phil & Chris (Rock/Latin/Go-go)
  • July 19 – Nina Casey Trio (Acoustic Blues/Swing)
  • July 26 – Phil Kominski (Acoustic/Folk)

Market Common Clarendon is also offering free concerts for kids each Friday through August, starting at 10:30 a.m. each day.

Photo via Facebook

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New Escape Room on the Way for Market Common Clarendon

(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) Arlington is getting another escape room, this time in Clarendon.

Fairfax-based Bond’s Escape Room plans to open a second location in Market Common Clarendon, according to a press release. The company is aiming to open the escape room by August.

Bond’s and other escape rooms give participants the chance to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in a timed setting.

“Our goal is to give our guests an exciting, innovative experience that will leave happy memories,” Egor Bondarev, the company’s CEO, said in a release. “We will have a total of twelve rooms (six regular-size games with six miniature games), all designed by our escape room enthusiasts who create the kind of games that we’d want to play.”

Bondarev told ARLnow via email that the escape room will be located at 2800 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 910, just above Sephora.

Bond’s first opened its Fairfax location along University Drive back in 2015. The company’s website bills it as “the largest escape room venue on the East Coast.”

This announcement comes just a few weeks after Richmond-based Ravenchase Adventures revealed plans to open an escape room along Columbia Pike. The company’s website says that venue will likely open in June.

File photo

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Clarendon’s Barre3 Studio Postpones Opening

Clarendon’s new Barre3 studio was set to start its first classes today (March 5), but has postponed its opening day.

The hold up is due to “the unexpected surprises that come with construction, permits and inspections,” according to an email sent on Friday to those who had signed up for the first week of classes.

The email didn’t specify a revised opening date for the barre studio to open at Market Common, and emails to the location were not returned over the weekend. A later email from the chain to customers noted that at least one additional free class would be held before opening their doors “this month.”

Many of the first week’s classes were free for locals to try out the studio, but anyone who had signed up was removed from the class list and had an extra free class added to their accounts for any of the local locations.

The chain also has a nearby location in Washington’s Georgetown neighborhood, but this would be the first Arlington addition.

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Morning Notes

Murder of Crows Pooping All Over Shirlington — A large contingent of crows have taken up residence in Shirlington, and locals are getting fed up with cars and sidewalks being covered in bird doo-doo. [WTOP, NBC Washington]

Design Contest for 2019 ‘I Voted’ Sticker — “In an effort to gin up voter enthusiasm during what is expected to be a slow 2019, Arlington election officials… plan to hold a competition to design a logo for next year’s election.” [InsideNova]

Arlington No. 3 on ‘Best Counties’ List — A new list of “best counties” in the U.S. ranks Falls Church — a city — No. 1 while Arlington is No. 3 and Fairfax is No. 6. The list was compiled by the website 24/7 Wall Street. [WTOP]

Mitten Given the Boot By Grand Rapids — The city of Grand Rapids, Michigan is restarting its search for a new city manager after an outcry from residents and interest groups. Arlington Deputy County Manager Carol Mitten was among the three finalists for the job to speak at a community forum, prior to the city announcing the restart. [Fox 17, MLive]

Police Recruiting for Student Safety Patrol Camp — “The Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officer Unit is currently accepting applications to the Summer Safety Patrol Camp. This weeklong camp is offered to incoming 4th and 5th grade students who want to participate in safety patrols during the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.” [Arlington County]

More on Market Common Redevelopment Approval — The redevelopment of a portion of Market Common Clarendon will widen a narrow sidewalk that was the source of resident complaints, among other community benefits. Arlington County Board member Christian Dorsey hopes the project can help “bring a little funkiness back into Clarendon.” [Arlington Connection]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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