Jon Banister, Bisnow

The H Street Corridor’s evolution from primarily a nightlife destination to a residential community with exciting retail options has received a further boost.

Avec, a transformational $200 million mixed-use development encompassing two blocks at 901 H St. NE, is pleased to announce today that its first lease is with Solidcore, a rapidly expanding boutique fitness chain with dozens of locations.

Solidcore, led by successful entrepreneur and renowned motivational speaker Anne Mahlum, has committed to 2,500 square feet at Avec, which is scheduled to open in 2020 and will feature 420 multi-family units along with 44,300 square feet of street-front retail space that may accommodate restaurants and many other uses.

Formerly a strip center known as H Street Connection, that two-block property – after 30 years in existence – was demolished in 2016 to make way for Avec, a trophy-quality building owned by Rappaport,  WC Smith and the Lustine family.

“Avec is bridging the momentum of residential and retail activity on the east side of the H Street Corridor with the established attractions on the west end,” says Rappaport President Henry Fonvielle. “Having Solidcore as our inaugural tenant is perfect, because the wonderful brand that Anne has built complements the energy and vitality found in this neighborhood.”

Fonvielle says he is confident that Avec’s amenities and Solidcore will help draw other retailers to the property.

In just a few years’ time, Mahlum, the firm’s founder, owner and CEO, has turned Solidcore into a multimillion-dollar enterprise with more than 30 studios. Locally, they include multiple locations within Washington, DC, Adams Morgan, Annapolis, Arlington, Tysons Corner, Baltimore and Bethesda. Nationally, Solidcore is in cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia – and Bismarck, N.D., where Mahlum grew up.

Prior to launching Solidcore, she started and served as the CEO of Back on My Feet, a non-profit organization that uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves, so they can make real change in their lives, like seeking out job opportunities and securing independent housing.

Mahlum, who speaks on topics such as social change, feels that bringing Solidcore to an area of our nation’s capital undergoing a tremendous renaissance makes a lot of sense.  “Building a sense of community among our clients and employees is incredibly important to us, so we only put our studios in neighborhoods with vibrant, active lifestyles. Avec was a natural fit for us,”  she says, noting the large pool of future residents to service, as well as a provision of parking for patrons.

Four Rappaport professionals participated in this long-term lease: Melissa Webb represented Solidcore, with landlord representation by Will Collins, Alex Shiel and Zach Elcano. Additionally, Rappaport has served as the retail adviser to Solidcore in numerous other deals throughout the region.

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