City to pay cost to move salon across Water Street

Relocation deal OK'd as site eyed for parking

September 12, 2002|By Laura Vozzella | Laura Vozzella,SUN STAFF

The city plans to spend $186,000 to move a downtown hair salon across the street from its current location, a city-owned building that will be torn down for a parking garage.

The Board of Estimates approved the relocation deal for Monica's Spa Salon yesterday after City Council President Sheila Dixon raised concerns about the cost.

"It just seems like a lot of money," she said.

However, Dixon and the rest of the board approved the deal after an official with the Baltimore Development Corp. explained that moving a salon is more complicated than packing up an office.

Substantial plumbing and electrical work will have to be done to install about 10 sinks and a tanning bed, said Andrew B. Frank, executive vice president of the BDC, the city's economic development arm.

"When I started getting quotes from general contractors, the city was shocked and so was I," said Monica Carney, owner of the salon.

For 17 years, Carney has operated the salon at 117 Water St., which the city bought about two years ago with a parking garage in mind.

The city might not build the garage for five years, Frank said, but it has notified tenants that they need to move. Carney plans to relocate to 106 Water St.

The city has moved three or four other tenants out of the nine-story building, and at least two besides the salon remain, Frank said. The amount spent on the previous relocations was not available yesterday, he said.

All of the $186,000 will be paid directly to movers, except for $10,000 that will go to the salon to cover "re-establishment costs."

"We really don't want to move," said Carney, who said rent at the new location will be about $1,000 more a month. "But we don't want to be in the way of city progress."

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