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New Kids On The Block: Alexandria

U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Braddock Metro Center office complex in Alexandria

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Services department will relocate over 700 employees to a 131K SF office in Braddock Metro Center at 1320 Braddock Place. It will vacate its 184K SF Park Center office at 3101 Park Center Drive when its lease expires in May.

The Washington REIT office’s proximity to the Braddock Road Metro helped seal the deal. The USDA, the agency behind the iconic food pyramid, sought collaborative, flexible space to accommodate its changing workplace dynamics.

Spa Forest

6432 General Green Way

C.Castle Group wants to create a three-story, 145K SF Korean spa inside the Shell Oil Industrial Park. The company, which operates spas in Queens, New York, and Dallas, paid almost $10M for the former Securities and Exchange Commission operations center at 6432 General Green Way.

The spa will occupy approximately two-thirds of the building and will offer pools, 18K SF of sauna space, a 12K SF indoor/outdoor rooftop and a restaurant that serves liquor. It plans to charge between $40 and $50 for a day pass.

The company’s novel New York spas have commanded media attention. C.Castle Group opened an $8M Spa Castle in Manhattan with a swim-up “Aqua Bar” and bathing suit-optional zones. The 22-pool Spa Castle in Queens is reportedly frequented by exotic dancers who enjoy skinny-dipping.

Mia’s Italian Kitchen

100 King St.

Alexandria Restaurant Partners has signed a lease at 100 King St., and plans to open a 180-seat restaurant called Mia’s Italian Kitchen in January. The previous tenant, London-based Italian restaurant chain Carluccio’s, abruptly departed both its Alexandria and Rockville locations, terminating its U.S. presence.

Restaurateurs Scott Shaw and Dave Nicholas designed the restaurant to appeal to the community with affordable fare and a casual, laid-back vibe. The menu, inspired by Nicholas’ great-grandmother’s cooking, will include pasta made from scratch, Sicilian-style pizzas, sandwiches and cured meats.

The first floor will have a bar and pizza oven, while the second floor will be devoted to the sit-down dining area. The restaurant group operates The Majestic, Vola’s and Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap in Alexandria.