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Jul. 9, 2013

Proposed Alexandria Athletics Complex Would Be Largest in D.C. Area

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor

The city of Alexandria has received an unsolicited proposal from the St. James Group L.L.C. to develop a huge athletics complex on the 15-acre Hensley Park. If constructed, the St. James Sports & Entertainment Complex would be the largest such athletics facility in the Washington, D.C., area, featuring baseball, ice hockey, rock climbing and more.

Two local sports enthusiasts, Kendrick F. Ashton Jr. and Craig A. A. Dixon, formed the St. James Group.  They are seeking to lease Hensley Park for at least the next 40 years and build the massive complex between the Beltway and Eisenhower Avenue. In the proposal, they say the complex would improve Alexandria residents’ quality of life and regional competitiveness, bring in significant direct and indirect revenue, and be a catalyst for additional economic activity and development in the Eisenhower Corridor.

The proposed complex would bring a multitude of amenities currently not available in the city of Alexandria. It would include a 80,000-square-foot field house, a 10,000-square-foot baseball center, four regulation-size basketball and volleyball courts, an aquatics center, two NHL-size hockey rinks, 20,000 square feet of rock climbing walls, a health club, a gymnastics center, a sports medicine center, a child development center, a golf and racquet club, as well as a retail outlet and a restaurant. The group did not release any financial details for the project. To view the proposal, click here.

The St. James Group said it considered several sites in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax County and the District of Columbia but chose Hensley Park because it “presents an ideal combination of location, acreage and proximity to transportation infrastructure.” It teamed on the project with FXFowle, Hunt Construction Group, Wells + Associates, The Atwood Group and the law firms of Walsh Colucci, Lubeley, Emrich & Walsh and Kirkland & Ellis.

On its Web site, the city of Alexandria said no decisions have yet been made. City staff will review the proposal and, if it’s determined that a sports complex is a feasible option, the city council will issue a request for proposals to allow any interested party to make a bid. “This is an interesting and unprecedented offer, and we need to learn more about this proposal, its feasibility and its implications before any decisions are made,” said Mayor William D. Euille on the Web site.

Photo credits: The St. James Group L.L.C.

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