535 University Avenue
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When Harvey Milk's American Diner closed in October 2014, the space attracted interest from other restaurateurs, including Phil Pace (of Phil's BBQ fame), but nothing panned out.

Permits due in two or three weeks

Permits due in two or three weeks

The building's interior has been gutted to its bare walls and high ceiling, offering the sought-after vintage look that's favored by many businesses these days. Those include restaurants, beer breweries, dot-com companies, architects, interior designers, law firms, and salons.

The property owner decided they needed to find a different tenant for the longtime restaurant site. Enter real estate entrepreneur George O. Flint, who proposed a growing salon concept: “The Hive. A collaboration of spa and salon providers coming together in 30 personal suites to offer a 'one-stop shop' for all your beauty needs.”

This trend in the beauty industry has caught on fast. A study by Professional Consultants & Resources reported in 2011 that 35 percent of the nation's salons followed the suite model; that number was likely to rise to 50 percent, the study said at the time, and eventually expand to 75 percent.

Flint plans to spend $400,000 on building improvements, with “permits due in two to three weeks.” He said he's getting “tons” of interest. Booths range from 87 to 153 square feet; rents will be $231 to $485 a week. Salon/spa owners will pay no commission fees.

Flint is offering “free parking for first 15 tenants for six months, and offering $200 referral program to anyone who refers us a tenant.” The company website should be live soon, said Flint.

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Ponzi Feb. 12, 2016 @ 9:40 a.m.

It's subleasing. Booth rentals. This guy is just taking on the risk of subleasing a bunch of small spaces for service workers, collecting rents and paying the landlord. $13 a sq. ft. for space? That's insanity.


SanCarlosGuy Feb. 12, 2016 @ 12:14 p.m.

Sounds like an interesting concept that might just work is trendy Hillcrest. With haircuts now around $25.00 in the area, a new stylist might be able to make a go of it. There is a certain synergy to having businesses cluster under the same roof.


dwbat Feb. 12, 2016 @ 6:19 p.m.

Yes, it does seem to make sense when you think about it. I was surfing craigslist this evening and what did I see? An ad for the same type business in Redondo Beach. They are asking $800 to $1000, on a month-to-month basis.


SanCarlosGuy Feb. 12, 2016 @ 12:20 p.m.

There's a certain synergy to having like businesses under one roof. A trendy new hair venue for the local fashionistas may be just the ticket needed to make this space a success.


dwbat Feb. 13, 2016 @ 10:06 a.m.

Flint is also going to restore the colorful fruit frieze at the building's top. It was painted gray by the Harvey Milk's owners.



Ponzi Feb. 14, 2016 @ 5:48 p.m.

The concept is not new. Sola Salon Studios has been doing this for over 20 years. They have a few locations in San Diego. My friend remarked that these space rates are high.


dwbat Aug. 4, 2016 @ 5:59 p.m.

August 4 update: The project is moving ahead. Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of Hillcrest Business Association told me: "My understanding is that it's taking longer because of the substantial build-out. I have heard that city permitting has held up some of the construction." The opening is now scheduled for August.


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