WELLINGTON, Fla. — A South Florida salon owner is ready to greet new customers inside the Mall at Wellington Green this weekend.
The Hair Doctor will open its doors Saturday after the pandemic took a toll on owner Evelyn Metellus last year.
Metellus lost her store location in Royal Palm Beach after the coronavirus outbreak spread to South Florida.
This weekend she will finally be able to reopen inside the Mall at Wellington Green.
"When I found the mall, they offered everything," said Metellus, owner and lead hairstylist of The Hair Doctor. "They were looking for people like me to grow their business, and they believe in what I'm doing."
Metellus believes the support from the mall is a critical component in her strategic approach to rebounding from the pandemic.
The conversation is growing about whether additional small businesses could find success from the exposure the mall provides.
The Mall at Wellington Green, which has been struggling against the rise of online shopping, was purchased by Starwood Retail Partners in 2014.
Starwood announced its redevelopment project last year, an ambitious plan that would transform the property into more of an entertainment district.
However, at the end of last year, a redevelopment project that would have included a hotel and apartments on the mall property was officially withdrawn.
Now that the plan has been scrapped, it remains to be seen what will become of the property.
Wellington leaders are moving forward with an in-depth study to understand the best potential long-term options for economic success.
"As a community, we're aging," said Tim Stillings, Wellington's planning and zoning director. "The demographic between 30 and 45 are the numbers we see growing, as well as those older than 65, which is going to shape some of the businesses and companies that want to be here.”
The Mall at Wellington Green is one of the largest commercial properties in the village.