Leases  ·  Office

Pickleball Giant Joola Moving HQ to North Bethesda, Md.

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Pickleball is an unavoidable force of nature these days, and it’s about to become even bigger on the northern outskirts of Washington, D.C.

Joola, one of the largest manufacturers in the pickleball and table tennis scenes, is moving its headquarters from Rockville, Md., to nearby North Bethesda, Md., according to landlord Federal Realty Investment Trust. The company has inked a 35,507-square-foot lease at 915 Meeting Street, a 16-story office building that is part of the mixed-use development dubbed Pike & Rose.

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Federal Realty declined to provide other terms of the deal.

In addition to locating its headquarters at the site, Joola will also open its first retail space in the North Bethesda property, along with its pickleball courts, once it moves from its Rockville location this fall. Joola’s new contract brings the building to nearly 80 percent leased, joining fellow tenants Choice International Hotels and Sodexo.

“Joola has outgrown its current location, and this new headquarters gives us the flexibility to continue to expand our team while also opening our first concept retail location,” Joola CEO Richard Lee said in a statement. 

Pickleball is officially the fastest-growing sport in the U.S., with nearly 9 million players age 6 and above in 2023, according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association. Demand for courts has become so pressing that landlords and real estate brokers are taking notice. An investor group helmed by professional pickleball player Jimmy Hall and coach Sonny Tannan are planning to open a 23,000-square-foot facility dedicated to the sport in Millersville, Md., between D.C. and Baltimore. 

Federal Realty was represented by Bernie McCarthy and Danny Sheridan from JLL, while Gary Schlager and Chris Coccaro from Transwestern handled the deal for Joola. The brokers did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Nick Trombola can be reached at ntrombola@commercialobserver.com.