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NEW: Indoor pickleball facilities coming to Fairfax City, Annandale

A rendering of Down the Line Sports Center’s planned Annandale pickleball facility (via Down the Line Sports Center)

(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Pickleball devotees will soon have new places to play in the Fairfax area.

The Fairfax City Council voted last night (Tuesday) to grant a special use permit to Down the Line Sports Center, which will build an indoor pickleball facility to replace the vacated CVS in Courthouse Plaza (10390 Willard Way).

The 10,000-square-foot former pharmacy will be transformed into a dedicated pickleball facility with three full-sized courts and two half-sized courts, according to the application submitted by Down the Line owner Jenni Bae.

Though an opening date hasn’t been set yet, Down the Line is already preparing to extend its reach with a second, larger facility in Annandale that’s also anticipated to launch next year.

“This is an exciting new chapter for Down the Line Sports Center, and we are thrilled to bring our first location to the heart of Old Town,” Bae said. “Our vision is to create a space where patrons of all ages can come together, play, and connect. We’re grateful for the support of the City Council, Fairfax City Economic Development, and the Façade and Interior Improvement Grant program for making this dream a reality.”

Provided by Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED), the grant program reimburses 50% or up to $20,000 of the costs for businesses to get established or expand in the city.

A tennis player who got into pickleball during the COVID-19 pandemic, Bae told FFXnow that the original plan was to open an indoor pickleball facility in Annandale. But then, she connected with the FCED and saw an opportunity to open a smaller center more quickly.

“We recognized it as basically a beneficial opportunity for both Fairfax City and our business,” she said.

Because the Fairfax City facility will be relatively small, Down the Line hopes to offer social events to the community in lieu of pickleball tournaments and leagues, which require at least six courts, according to the application.

The company said it’s open to partnering with the Old Town Fairfax Business Association and the Central Fairfax Chamber of Commerce on future events, while also participating in festivals and other outdoor city events.

In a press release, the FCED lauded the facility as “a significant leap towards invigorating Old Town Fairfax and fostering a sense of community.” Fairfax City has six pickleball courts at Green Acres Center (4401 Sideburn Road), including one that’s indoors, and four at Van Dyck Park (3720 Blenheim Blvd), but this is the city’s first dedicated, indoor pickleball complex.

Fairfax City Mayor Catherine Read credited local pickleball players at Green Acres Center and former city council member Janice Miller with advocating for more playing options in the city to support the growing — and sometimes polarizing — sport.

“We have delivered a solution that works no matter the weather,” Read said. “That value is made greater by the fact many residents can walk there or take the free CUE bus.”

According to Bae, Down the Line hopes to open the Fairfax facility this winter, followed in the second half of 2024 by the Annandale facility.

Located at 4311 Ravensworth Road, the 50,000-square-foot Annandale center will feature 18 permanent indoor courts, seven golf simulators and a sports bar. The company envisions it as a future destination for both amateur and professional players in the D.C. region and beyond.

“Our goal is to bring in huge events that we’ve never been able to have in this area before because no one has ever been able to provide the indoor space that we can provide,” Bae said. “…We will become a destination center where people will fly in from other states to play in our tournaments…They’re going to bring more business to the restaurants, to the hotels and to everything in the Annandale area because of our center.”

Rendering via Down the Line Sports Center

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