Craig Dixon and Kendrick Ashton, CEOs of The St. James Group, broke ground Thursday on their newest entity, The St. James Complex.
Located in Springfield, Virginia, the 450,000-square-foot facility will open its doors next fall in the industrial district of the greater Washington area.
The key mission of The St. James is to rebuild sports, wellness and active entertainment, said Dixon, a native Washingtonian
“It’s a place a wish I had access to as a youth and a place that I need desperately with children who are growing up in athletics,” Dixon said. “From a business standpoint, it made sense to start here because of the market that Washington resides within. The project took four years and I’m thankful for the work and results ahead.”
The St. James complex will host a 45,000-square-foot premium health club with an 8,000-square-foot performance center, a FIFA regulation-size field house, a gymnastics training center (10,000 sq. ft.), two NHL-size ice rinks, four basketball courts, nine volleyball courts, an Olympic-size competition pool, a 6,000-square-foot water fun park and plenty of other fixtures to satisfy the needs of youth and parents.
Ashton, a fellow Washingtonian and alumnus of William & Mary University, spoke on being an African-American man who is empowering his community through investing.
“As products of this community, me and my partner believe in doing good and the St. James embodies that idea by allowing adults and children that are passionate about sports and wellness a platform to expand on their goals,” he said.
“I’m in the business of pushing fun, if athletes are bred here, that is a plus, but offering the opportunity for instructors to teach, children to learn and adults to explore wellness matters to me,” Ashton said. “If they’re satisfied, my job is complete.”
Hockey is expanding in the greater Washington area, so The St. James Group decided to recruit reinforcements to encourage other youth in the form of Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin.
Ovechkin, an 11-time All-Star for the Capitals, wants to become an advocate for diversity in hockey and inspiring others that they too can participate if they desire.
“Facilities like The St. James will encourage more participation because if they did not have the opportunity, now they will,” Ovechkin said. “It’s a first step in helping children become great athletes.”
Although St. James doesn’t officially open until September 2018, registration for memberships are available now at the complex, located at 6801 Industrial Road in Springfield, Virginia.