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Exclusive: Rappaport Signs First Retail Tenant At $200M H Street Development

A rendering of Avec, the 420-unit mixed-use project Rappaport and WC Smith are building on H Street

The $200M mixed-use project under construction on the H Street corridor has just landed its first retail tenant. 

Rappaport signed boutique fitness chain Solidcore to a 2,500 SF space in Avec, the 419-unit development with 44K SF of retail it is building with WC Smith at 901 H St. NE. Rappaport's Will Collins, Alex Shiel and Zach Elcano brokered the deal on behalf of the development team, while Rappaport's Melissa Webb represented Solidcore. 

D.C.-based Solidcore has over 30 locations nationwide and 14 in the D.C. area. The chain was founded in 2013 by motivational speaker Anne Mahlum, who previously founded Back on My Feet, a nonprofit that helps homeless people improve their lives through running. The studio on H Street, a buzzing corridor with many trendy restaurants and retail concepts opening, will be Solidcore's first in Northeast D.C. 

“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," Mahlum said in a release. "Avec was a natural fit for us." 

Avec is being built on a two-block site between Eighth and 10th streets NE. Rappaport, WC Smith and the Lustine family in 2016 began demolition on H Street Connection, the strip center that formerly occupied the property. The development team expects to deliver the project in 2020. 

Rappaport President Henry Fonvielle, who has previously said he also plans to bring in full-service restaurants and fast-casual concepts to the project, said he thinks the Solidcore deal will help draw other retailers. 

“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,” Fonvielle said. “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.”