The Mount Vernon Athletic Club is closing permanently as of May 5, according to an email sent to members this weekend.
The club, located at 7950 Audubon Avenue (see map), has been a mainstay in the Route 1 area since its founding in 1972. Recently there has been interest in redeveloping the site, however, and General Manager Dimitris Kollaros said in the email that a pending sale of the club was the reason for the closure.
“The perspective owner has indicated they expect to move forward towards closing,” Kollaros said. “[G]iven the club is currently closed and cannot re-open prior to June 10th, I have the sad task of informing you that Mount Vernon Athletic Club will be permanently closed as of May 5, 2020.”
Kollaros thanked MVAC members in the email, and said he hoped that members could get together one final time to say goodbye to the club.
“For 45+ years, Mount Vernon Athletic Club has served the greater Alexandria region, providing a place for families in our community to play tennis, get fit and have fun,” Kollaros said in the email. “Many of you have expressed a love for the club, the friends you’ve made here, and for our wonderful staff throughout the years. We are honored to have been a part of your lives and we sincerely thank you for your patronage.”
The club is currently owned by MVHRC Holding, Inc., which is part of the Van Metre Companies. It’s not clear who the new ownership is; attempts to get more information were unsuccessful.
Mount Vernon Athletic Club had been one of the sites nominated for comprehensive plan changes as part of the South County Site Specific Amendment process (read more about the SSPA here). The nomination –submitted by the land use firm Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley and Walsh — states that the club had seen declining membership in recent years, and suggests rezoning the property for residential use.
“The current [comprehensive plan] recommendation for private recreation mirrors the zoning approvals and is very limiting,” the nomination says. “The membership in the fitness component of the club has steadily declined for a number of years, which has made it difficult to sustain the operation.”
The nomination says that an apartment building would be a good fit for the MVAC spot, and that a vacant piece of adjancent land also owned by Van Metre could be also be consolidated for that purpose.
“The re-planning of the Subject Property provides an opportunity to bring new residential development to this older neighborhood and help reinvigorate the greater community,” the nomation says. “It is important that this nomination be brought forward to help address the critical and growing housing shortage in the region.”