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Couple plans to expand salon and barbershop

October 12, 2005|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN

andrews@herald-mail.com

The owners of an East Washington Street salon and barber shop plan to buy a building across the street and expand their business.

The building Daryl and Cynthia Morris are buying, at the corner of North Mulberry Street, has seven apartments and three commercial units.

Daryl Morris said a storefront on the Mulberry Street side would become a laundromat.

Morris said he and his wife bought 201-203 E. Washington St. four years ago and opened New Beginning Salon & Barber Shop on Jan. 1.

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Now, they'll move the shop into 200-202 E. Washington St., doubling the number of salon booths, Morris said.

Morris said he and his wife are buying the building, which now houses an antique shop, for $150,000. They'll put about $50,000 worth of work into it, much of it on their own.

Of the $200,000 they're spending, about half will come from a bank loan. Another $10,000 will be their own money, Morris said.

The remaining $90,000 is expected to come from a low-interest loan from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program.

On Tuesday, the Hagerstown City Council informally supported the Morrises' loan application to the state. The council will vote on a resolution Oct. 25.

Deborah Everhart, the city's economic development director, said the state requires local government support before granting loan requests.

Councilwoman Alesia D. Parson-McBean was impressed with how the Morrises renovated the New Beginning shop.

Daryl Morris said they'll do the same across the street.

"It's really in serious need of some work," he said.

The current salon space would become an office for their property management operation, he said.

In an interview Tuesday, Morris said New Beginning has four booths for stylists, who are independent businesses and not employees. The new shop, which they hope to open in March, would have eight booths.

Morris said there are more beauty school graduates than places to work.

The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation's Web site lists Robert G. Hurley of Boonsboro as the owner of the 200-202 building.

Under the purchase contract, the third storefront in that building will remain a storage area for one year, Morris told the City Council.

The Morrises rent out four two-bedroom apartments in the 201-203 building. They've kept the rent at about $475 for long-time tenants, he said.

Newer tenants pay $550 to $700.

Morris said he and his wife also run the nonprofit Solid Rock Foundation, which helps low-income residents pay rent.

"Our philosophy is sometimes circumstances get the best of you," he said.

The couple plans to charge about $375 to $400 for the seven one-bedroom apartments in the building they're buying, he said. Their target market is Section 8 tenants, especially the elderly and people with disabilities.

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