Hamilton panel decides against beauty college and salon for building near Main and D streets – Hamilton Journal News

A Hamilton development board decided against accepting a Springdale beautician’s proposal to locate a beauty college, beauty salon and beauty store in the publicly owned building at 16 N. D St., near a significant intersection along the Main Street business corridor.
Instead, the Community Improvement Corporation decided that the property would be better used as a restaurant or other food-serving establishment as the city ramps up to serve tourists from the gigantic under-construction Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex.
The CIC panel last week voted against accepting a proposal by Sharon Jemison, a hair stylist in Springdale, to sell her the building so she could, with city assistance, launch a beauty college with 25 students a year, a salon and beauty store.
CIC members and city economic-development staff also preferred, as officials have stated in the past, that they preferred that two separate buildings at the northeast corner of Main and D streets — 16 N. D and 244 Main St. — be developed together to house a business, perhaps with some sort of glass atrium filling in the space between them. Jemison only was interested in the D Street building.
City Economic Development Director Jody Gunderson said he would prefer both buildings to be developed together and occupied by a food-service business. At least three businesses looked at the properties but only Jemison offered a proposal.

Officials have worked several years to develop the buildings. After last week’s CIC decision, they decided to wait six months to a year to request other proposals from companies on how they would develop the buildings. In the meantime, they will continue fielding interest from companies that approach them.
Numerous buildings along Main Street are being renovated and reoccupied, and the officials hope those will join them soon. While the city requested at least a $400,000 investment in exchange for control of the building, Jemison’s investment was spread out over time and not as immediate as anticipated, the panel was told.
Jemison was disappointed by the decision.
“We all need to eat. But who needs another hamburger? Not me,” she said. “What we’re proposing to CIC and the city of Hamilton is bringing in, for one, an African-American business that will bring about equality, being in the downtown area, because there are not a lot African-American businesses in the area.”
She’s hoping to find a location either along Main Street or in the downtown, she said.

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