Starting Lineup Barber & Beauty plans expansion
By KALEA HALL
Jerome Franklin saw a need for a spa downtown and decided to fill it.
The Starting Lineup Barber & Beauty Shop inside the Realty Tower, 47 Federal Plaza Central, will expand this spring with a 3,700-square-foot spa in the basement of the tower.
Franklin hopes to open what he’s calling SLU Luxury Salon and Spa by Starting Lineup before the Mother’s Day holiday.
Right now, the basement is under construction but will soon house spots for massages, pedicures, manicures, waxing and facials.
“It’s something we don’t have down here [in downtown],” Franklin said. “A lot of people have been calling for it.”
Franklin, who has been a barber since the early 2000s, opened the Starting Lineup in 2006. He moved the business downtown to a 1,960-square-foot inside the Realty Tower from its South Side location in 2015.
“I just wanted a change of scenery,” he said. “I just wanted to look outside and see life.”
As Franklin and other barbers and stylists work, the city life is on display in front of them at the downtown location.
Across the street, they’ve been watching as the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel comes to life. The hotel is set to open at the end of March.
The hotel rising is another reason Franklin thought the spa addition would be a good investment.
Franklin is now in search of nail technicians, massage therapists, more stylists and others for the spa.
“I look at areas and see what’s needed,” he said. “You listen to people who are around. I think it will do good with the hotel as well.”
The Realty Tower, owned by downtown development company NYO Property Group, was renovated in 2009. The cost to renovate the 12-story building into a high-end apartment complex was $8.4 million project, according to The Vindicator files.
NYO Property Group and the Pan Brothers Associates Inc., a New York City-based real-estate services firm, are behind the downtown hotel project to transform the more than 100-year-old Stambaugh Building into a modernized luxury hotel with 124 rooms and ballrooms/meeting space. The Stambaugh Building is a 12-story, neoclassical revival building that opened in 1907.