Salons, cleaner to join Falmouth business community

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FALMOUTH — New businesses that include a block of salons, a laundry center and, perhaps, a tenant at the shuttered Wendy’s restaurant are coming to the Route 1 corridor.

Just behind Wal-Mart, a little past the property where the Rivalries restaurant and sports bar is being built , a new block of salon studios could open by July.

Jean Bradshaw, owner of Mint Salon Block, said 11 or 12 of the studios now under construction are already leased. According to the company’s website, the two-story block at 75 Clearwater Drive will have 29 “high-end salon studios” where various professionals can work in their own space.

Bradshaw said she will be providing the equipment and most amenities for the individual suites, but each salon will operate independently. She said salon blocks are popular in other parts of the country, but she thinks Mint Salon Block would be the first business of its kind in Maine.

Nearby, where one business has ended another will begin.

Spoil Me, the wedding dress and bridal boutique shop at 204 U.S. Route 1 in the Carriage House Square plaza, abruptly closed at the end of May. It’s place will be taken by a laundry center.

Justin Brown, the town’s code enforcement officer, said a company called Eco Cleaners was issued a permit for the spot, which is in the middle of the plaza. It is operated by Hyegu Cho. Eco Cleaners will join Pratt Abbott Cleaners and Portland Dry Cleaners in the Staples plaza as dry cleaning services available on Route 1.

Additionally, there may be more new business along Route 1 within the coming weeks.

The former Wendy’s  building, which has remained vacant since abruptly closing last winter, may become home to another business within a month. The freestanding fast-food restaurant, at 206 U.S. Route 1, is listed for lease by Portland-based Compass Commercial Brokers.

Kevin McQuinn of Compass said there had been a lot of interest in the space from Portland restaurants, as well as some interest from national retailers and service companies, including a wireless service provider.

“Nothing is firm at this point,” McQuinn said, but added there will likely be a decision made in the next month or so regarding the property.

The owner of the Falmouth Plaza where Wendy’s is located, Camden-based developer Matthew Orne, recently made good on his promise to bring a movie theater back to town. Regal Cinemas operated a theater at the plaza until 2012. Flagship Premium Cinemas plans to open June 20 in the same space, which until early April was held by Wal-Mart.

Other vacancies persist along Route 1, most notably in the Falmouth Shopping Center, where the original Shaw’s supermarket space has been empty since the company moved to the other end of the center.

The former Lotus Chinese Restaurant space remains empty, along with space previously occupied by Goodwill Industries, which moved into a larger area in the plaza. Goodwill allowed students from the Falmouth High School robotics team to use the vacant space this school year.

Lamey-Wellehan Shoes is also leaving its space in the far corner of the plaza. The family-owned shoe company is in the process of moving to 240 U.S. Route 1 and sharing space with Staples, which has downsized.

Colin Ellis can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @colinoellis.

The Mint Salon Block on Clearwater Drive in Falmouth is a group of studio salons that will include hair stylists, massage therapists, barbers and others.

A permit has been issued for an Eco Cleaners laundry center to replace Spoil Me, the wedding dress and bridal boutique that closed at the end of May on Route 1 in Falmouth.

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Reporter covering the Portland Public School District as well as the town of Falmouth for The Forecaster. Can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 123 or cellis@theforecaster.net.