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Businesses take ownership at downtown development

Crescent Place along the Washington & Old Dominion Trail in downtown Leesburg welcomed several retailers this month, bringing the multi-use aspect of the development to fruition.

The 12-acre parcel boasts 224 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail space within walking distance of historic downtown.

Unusual to most retail spaces, the businesses own their units and are free to build out their vision as they see fit.

Ralph Ferraiolo of Ferraiolo Fitness is the first to begin construction. It will be his third location in Loudoun County.

“I am wildly excited,” he said. “It's going to be a premier location. My personal training studios are high-end facilities. I don't think they lend themselves to the average strip mall.”

Crescent Place is proving to provide the perfect backdrop. The brick exteriors and views of the park across the street blend well with the rest of downtown.

Ferraiolo owns other fitness studio spaces as well on Edwards Ferry Road and in the Lansdowne Shopping Center.

“It's proven to be a very nice business model for me and it's enabled me to have a premier presentation with some of the best trainers and still keep my rates with others around town,” he said.

As the first business to get started, Ferraiolo expects to be up and running by the first or second week in September.

Next door, Nanette Parsons is moving her lingerie store, Best Rack Around from its second floor Market Station location. Opened in 2013, the shop is already in need of larger, more easily accessible space for its clientele.

Parsons specializes in bras for women struggling with main stream brands due to mastectomies and other surgical procedures. This new location will allow her clients to park out front and come in for a fitting, she said.

“I love that it's all retail. I think we are all going to be doing a lot together and have a lot of cross promotion.”

Best Rack Around is also slated to be open sometime this fall.

David and Linda Kamminga's vision involves opening up two new businesses at once and the couple purchased two units for their Portside Coffee shop and Bread and Butter Bakery. Inspired by their world travels, the Kammingas wanted to start businesses they would be excited to frequent.

“We love the location,” said Linda Kamminga. “We love that it's near the trail and close to downtown Leesburg. It's a new, excited work, live, play community that we want to be a part of.”

Portside Coffee will serve everyone's favorite caffeine drinks but will feature a new twist, coffee and tea cocktails. Bread and Butter Bakery will source fresh bread and local dairy from the surrounding area and have a variety of international desserts to sample.

The Kammingas also wanted to draw in the clientele their neighbors will be attracting.

“We will offer a taste for each type client shopping. For example, we have a gym next door and we will be offering energy drinks and healthy snacks will be available,” said Linda Kamminga.

The attraction of owning retail space in Leesburg is a strong one with two of the three retail buildings almost sold out. Additional shops include nail and hair salons and an ice cream parlor.

Linda Kamminga summed up the reason for choosing to invest in Crescent Place.

“I love that [Leesburg] still has the small town feel with the Southern charm and hospitality, that is definitely appealing. And being a part of the historical background.”

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