Getting physical

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Getting physical
Dear Ace: What’s the deal with the new ACAC Downtown? When will it finally open?—Ivana Wehrkaut

Dear Ivana: Good question! The ACAC’s new Downtown workout spot has been a subject of much discussion in the ever-exciting world of local development, and Ace is all too happy to fill you in on the deal.

For those not in the know, the 40,000-square-foot facility will be located just south of the Downtown Mall by Monticello Avenue and Second Street NW. In addition to the mega-gym, the 3.75 acre property will boast other commercial spaces and a 200-car parking garage. And yes, there’s a rooftop pool.

The Downtown area’s latest shrine to pumping up in the lap of luxury is a far cry from the site’s old purpose. The newly renovated building used to house the Ivy Industries factory, which was nationally recognized for the quality of its picture frame moldings. Ivy Industries went under in 2003, after its corporate officers were charged with scamming Albemarle First Bank and SunTrust Bank in a check-kiting scheme that cost the banks millions of dollars. And with Ivy Industries out, ACAC Downtown was in.

To answer your second question, Ivana, the new gym is slated to open on Monday, November 20 (at 5:29am, to be exact), according to an e-mail sent by ACAC to its members.

David Schmidt of Alexander-Nicholson General Contractors, the construction firm behind the new facility, won’t confirm that date, however.

“I can confirm that we’re anticipating opening in the fall of ’06,” says Schmidt. “At this point in the project, you know, we’re going along. We’re making progress. But I’m really not at liberty to share any exact dates.”

ACAC employee Emily Breeden, however, reaffirms the November 20 opening: “They’re trying to get everything in there. They’ve got all the drywall up. All the racquetball courts are in there. We’re getting everything ready.” Then, she jokingly adds, “Cross your fingers!”

Ace and Emily aren’t the only ones crossing their fingers for a timely opening. Other tenants signed for commercial spaces even before construction began, according to HasBrouck Real Estate agent Lane Bonner. And Bonner says another building is in the works, with “a lot of commercial space for rent.”

Ace can only hope one of those spaces will be serving all of his favorite greasy foods and beverages of choice. After all, he doesn’t work out for nothing!

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