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CrossFit DC coming to Atlas District in old H Street Playhouse space

Handstands at CrossFit DC's 14th Street location

The strength-conditioning workout CrossFit is all the rage among folks looking for an intense, team-training fitness regimen, and soon H Street NE will get its own outpost.
In the space the H Street Playhouse used to occupy, CrossFit DC’s next gym is expected to open as soon as this month, according to Tom Brose, head coach and co-owner of the DC affiliate. Chris Sheppard is Brose’s business partner and fellow head coach.
The building at 1365 H Street NE has a storied past. In addition to its decade-long run as a playhouse, it was also a restaurant and a car dealership. A ramp out back, since demolished, let dealers displays cars on the building’s roof, says Brose, 44.
Brose’s friend Doron Petersan, owner of Sticky Fingers’ bakery in Northwest, pointed him toward the Atlas District as he considered where to open his second gym. Impressed with the energy of the neighborhood, he walked up and down the street, stopping at Sidamo for a coffee, mulling his options.
Now CrossFit DC’s next location has a demo permit and regular meetings with DCRA, one of the bodies regulating historic preservation in the District.
“It’s a super cool building,” Brose says. The 4,500-square-foot space, featuring elegant sandstone detailing on the façade, is being designed by Chavchanidze Consulting. “We’re 75 percent of the way” to completion.
After training clients in alleys when the weather cooperated and leasing space from gyms since 2005, Brose, who trained with the creator of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, opened the first CrossFit DC about a year ago on 14th Street NW.
In a CrossFit workout are “a mix of weightlifting, conditioning and gymnastic elements,” he says. “A lot of people who come to us find going to the gym on their own unmotivating. We have other people who have a background in athletics, and we have other people who just want to get into shape.”
Brose now resides in Bethesda but admits he misses Cleveland Park, where he was a longtime resident. 

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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