Village Board asked again to consider allowing more hair and nail salons

“The suites are coming,” says business prospect Myesha Anderson

by Melanie Jongsma

Village Administrator Dan Podgorski (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
LANSING, Ill. (October 8, 2018) – The only item under “Old Business” at the October 2 Committee of the Whole meeting was a “Professional Suite Presentation” by Lansing resident and businesswoman Myesha Anderson. In introducing Anderson, Village Administrator Dan Podgorski explained to the Board that he understood there was some confusion about the concept of professional suites, which had first appeared on a meeting agenda on August 21. “After we kind of let it die down a little bit,” said Podgorski, “I talked to the petitioner and asked if she would be willing to explain the concept.”

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Anderson began her presentation by explaining that she wanted “to discuss the business license amendment to Section 16-47 as it relates to the limits on business licenses of certain types of businesses in the village.”

Amending the limits

Anderson has lived in Lansing for 14 months, and her credentials include a degree in psychology, a cosmetology license, and experience as a teacher and a real estate investor. She explained to the Board that her proposal to change the ordinance stems from her real estate interests rather than her background in the hair industry. “I am not hiring stylists or beauty professionals,” she said at the meeting. “The intended proposal to amend business license [limits] in Section 16-47 is an effort to design business incubators that will allow for inclusion of beauty, beauty health and/or wellness professionals to own and conduct consumer services.”

Repurposing the building

The building Anderson would like to repurpose as a professional suites or salon suites is located at 2457 Ridge Road, the former Apple Dentistry location. She explained to the Board that she would like to house a variety of beauty professionals in the eight suites—estheticians, chiropractic therapists, eyebrow/lash technicians, health and wellness providers, beauty product makers, barbers, etc. “This location is desiring to have three private hair salons and one nail salon in its model,” said Anderson. The business license application she submitted in July included massage therapist, fashion retail, and barbers in the business description as well.

Myesha Anderson would like to transform the former Apple Dentistry building into a salon suites or professional suites. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)

While Anderson’s vision is to “create, design, and develop business incubators exclusively for beauty professionals, also known as salon suites or beauty suites,” she does not see her proposed business as a competitor for existing salons in Lansing. By offering salon suites, she can meet the needs of people who for medical or other reasons prefer a private meeting with a stylist, rather than interacting in the more social environment a traditional salon provides.

Getting the licenses

As owner of the professional suites, Anderson needs a business license from the Village. Administrator Podgorski confirmed that, in addition, each suite would need a license from the Village, because each suite is a separate business. Lansing is currently at its maximum allowable number of hair salons and nail salons.

Anderson pointed out that a salon suites recently opened in Griffith, Indiana, less than nine miles from Lansing. She believes that Lansing needs to consider offering the same option in order to remain competitive with surrounding areas. “They’re coming. The suites are coming,” she told the Trustees. “They’re trying to swarm our area. Currently within a 75-mile radius we have 30 salon suites that hold over 25 individual salons. They are accommodating a lot of people.”

Answering questions

Trustee Mike Manno asked if stylists in salon suites would be able to undercut stylists in Lansing’s existing salons, because of lower overhead. Anderson explained that suites stylists will actually have higher overhead because utilities, internet, and other amenities are included in their rental fee. The prices they charge will also likely be higher, perhaps double. “The exclusivity is why we can increase the prices,” she explained. “It’s more of an upscale versus a lower-scale type of model.”

Trustee Maureen Grady-Perovich asked what a chiropractic therapist is and what kind of license is required for that service. Anderson described a chiropractic therapist as “one that is skilled in chiropractic education and measures and also slight massages, which is like a chiropractor. [The licensing] would be under the beauty license which would be under esthetician, because that all falls under skin. The esthetician’s license is specifically catered to the skin.”

Anderson was originally using the name MA Beauty Suites for her business but is now considering a different name. (Photo: Melanie Jongsma)
Trustee Brian Hardy asked about signage: “Would people who have the suites have advertising signs out in the window or something?” Anderson, who originally chose the name MA Beauty Suites for her business, is now planning to have a more “neutral name” that would be placed on the main sign on Ridge Road. Each individual suite owner would be able to have his or her business name on the door of the suite, and a listing of all the businesses could be posted on the main door. Anderson also plans to have a business website that would serve as a directory for all the businesses within her salon suite.

Anderson said later that if the Trustees vote not to change the ordinance and grant her the salon and nail licenses she seeks, she will simply use the building as some other kind of professional suites, such as legal offices. Having a more generic name will give her more flexibility in terms of the kinds of businesses she might lease suites to.

Trustee Grady-Perovich asked what revenues a salon suites might bring to Lansing. Anderson explained that the upscale nature of the salon experience she wants to offer will attract people who will also patronize other businesses in the area. “So they’re indirect potentials for revenue?” asked Grady-Perovich. “Yes,” confirmed Anderson.

Grady-Perovich also expressed concern about the age of the building and its ability to handle large amounts of beauty products being washed down the drains. Anderson relayed that both the Lansing Fire Department and the Lansing Building Inspector had already inspected the building and seemed satisfied with its condition.

Receiving feedback

Podgorski instructed the Trustees to give the matter consideration and get back to him with any questions. “Miss Anderson is asking for no more than three additional hair salons to be located in that suite and no more than one additional nail salon,” he said. “The suite concept is allowed in as it is, so the only ask is to increase the number of hair salons and nail salons that can be located in the village.”

Podgorski’s original proposal was to exempt professional suites from the limits specified in Section 16-47 of Ordinance 13-10. However, at the October 2 meeting he seemed to be asking simply that three more hair salons and one more nail salon be allowed. It is unclear whether that means changing the limits permanently—from 27 hair salons to 30, and from 8 nail salons to 9.

Business licenses are assigned to business owners, not to business locations, so questions are also being considered about what would happen if a salon suite owner with a license decided to leave Anderson’s building.

Trustees have another week to consider Anderson’s presentation and Podgorski’s request. Changes may be further discussed or voted on at the October 16 Board meeting.

Residents and business owners who want to express opinions about license limits, salon suites, or other municipal matters are invited to contact their representatives directly:

Village Board meetings and Committee of the Whole meetings take place at the Municipal Court Complex (the police station) at 2710 170th Street on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 16, at 7:00pm.

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