Largest Indoor Pickleball Facility in Virginia Slated for Regency in Henrico County
RICHMOND, VA – Performance Pickleball RVA today announced development plans for an 18-court indoor/outdoor pickleball facility as part of the revitalization of Regency in Henrico County. Phase one of the development will include 12 dedicated indoor courts, which will immediately make PPBRVA the largest indoor pickleball facility in Virginia. Phase two of the development will include six outdoor courts, as well as an outdoor area for spectators.
PPBRVA is the vision of investors and co-founders Lee Warfield, Jeff Newman, Jon Laaser and Leah Fremouw. The facility will boast an elite staff of pickleball instructors from the area and feature individual instruction, clinics for all skill levels, open drop-in play, and leagues. It will be the host to large-scale tournaments and events that will attract people to the Richmond region. PPBRVA will also include a bar, restaurant and pro shop.
“In the last year, Jon and I have become immersed in the sport of pickleball and the RVA community that surrounds it,” said Warfield. “Our founders and investors share a passion for growing the sport in a top-notch facility where that community can congregate year-round. We know the pickleball community will be proud of the team and facility we are creating.”
Warfield is the President & CEO of Thalhimer, and has deep roots in the RVA business community. His firm is involved in many of the high-profile projects in the region including a partnership with Rebkee for the redevelopment of Regency, the home of PPBRVA.
“My interest in pickleball collided with the opportunity at our Regency project,” Warfield added. “It makes a lot of sense for the project and for the pickleball community. It’s a great location in Henrico County and we couldn’t be more excited about it.”
Laaser was integral in the founding of the Richmond Flying Squirrels in 2009, and gained repute throughout the state while serving as the “Voice of the Virginia Tech Hokies” for seven years. He is the President & Co-Founder of Laaser’s Ladybug Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that fundraises for mental health initiatives in local public schools.
Laaser will act as the COO of PBRVA and will run the day-to-day operations. “I discovered pickleball in April of 2022, and ever since then it has consumed my life,” said Laaser. “The RVA pickleball community, which is one of the most robust in the country, has welcomed me with open arms and I am beyond excited to create a place that they can call home year-round. A pickle paradise is the goal.”
With its location at Regency in Henrico County, PPBRVA has collaborated closely with the Henrico County Sports and Entertainment Authority as both grow the sport in the area.
“It’s amazing to think that a common vision can be achieved so quickly when the right partners are connected,” said Dennis Bickmeier, Executive Director of the Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority. “That we went from walking this property and talking about ‘what ifs’ a few months ago to now announcing the development of this project is just incredible. It is another step in the transformation happening at Regency. With the planned Pouncey Tract pickleball additions and this facility, Henrico and the region will be a pickleball powerhouse.”
Phase one of the development is slated to open in December of 2023, and will feature membership options at various levels, as well as non-member drop-in play. PPBRVA is designed with spacious viewing areas, two stadium courts, and a state-of-the-art scheduling system to maximize time on the court.
Interactive Design Group (IDG) is the architect for the facility. Their extensive experience with athletic and hospitality projects was instrumental in designing a facility that helps connect people in the Richmond community through play and sport. IDG has offices in Midlothian and Roanoke. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the firm has designed hundreds of buildings in various market sectors throughout the state.