Entrepreneur Pete Helow knew he wanted to operate another venture, but he wasn’t sure what kind.
His ventures have included commercial printing, a design firm, an ad agency and a photography studio.
For eight years, he marketed vodka for an advertising client and recently was a marketing consultant for UF Health Jacksonville.
“I really wanted to get back to owning my own business,” he said.
Helow work-ed with franchise business consultant Marshall Reddy of FranNet to identify the best fit, and decided to open a high-end barbershop.
He hopes that by the end of July or early August, the first of three area Roosters Men’s Grooming Center locations will open.
“I felt totally comfortable with the franchise, which was critical for me,” Helow said.
Roosters is a Regis Corp. brand, as are Supercuts and several other related concepts. Regis has about 9,000 worldwide locations.
It calls Roosters an “authentic barbershop experience in a modern, upscale and unpretentious environment.”
Roosters began in 1999 and now lists 82 locations nationwide, including four in Florida.
Helow’s first location is in San Marco at Hendricks Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard. It’s difficult to miss because he put up a sign to cover the name of the former user – Subway.
He said it took a year to find the right site based on demographics and density. There was “zero availability” in some of the places he wanted.
When Subway decided to relocate, “I found the ideal spot,” he said.
Regis hires local real estate brokers for its site needs. Geneva Henderson, executive vice president of Lat Purser & Associates Inc., found the location for Helow.
Regis also is involved in the build-out, and Helow expects a decision soon about the contractor.
The 1,311-square-foot space will be converted into a shop with six stations, each with its own shampoo sink. Helow will hire barbers and stylists with a total of eight full- and part-time employees.
In addition to haircuts, beard trims and facial shaves, Roosters offers head shaves, neck trims, highlighting, color camouflage, and facials. It also can tend to eyebrows and nose and ear hairs.
Helow said every haircut includes a shampoo with conditioner and a scalp and neck massage. The shampoo comes after the cut, so no hair strands are clinging to clothes.
“Guys will really be groomed when they leave,” he said.
Roosters will operate by appointment, but can accommodate walk-ins. The service lasts about 30 minutes.
Hours will be 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
After the San Marco shop opens, Helow has 18 months to open a second location and 18 months after that for a third. His territory is north to Brunswick, Ga.; south to St. Augustine; and west to Lake City.
He bought a three-store license and looks for 1,100 to 1,300 square feet of space, with drive-by traffic and higher-end stores.
“That is why San Marco is very, very good,” he said.
He hasn’t settled on a second site, but said brokers like Durbin Park, the northern St. Johns County lifestyle center in development.
Helow, 65, said he didn’t want to start a new concept, so he sought a proven template.
He will own and manage it, but he won’t be behind a chair.
“I do not know how to cut hair. And if I did, it would be a buzz cut,” he said.
Amazon announces plans for Miami fulfillment center
Seattle-based Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. announced plans for a Miami fulfillment center to create more than 1,000 jobs.
Employees at the more than 800,000-square-foot center will pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics and toys, similar to the plans for a Jacksonville fulfillment center at Interstate 295 and Pecan Park Road.
Akash Chauhan, Amazon’s vice president of North America Operations, said the center will join a sortation center and Prime Now hub in the Miami area.
The company said it created more than 4,000 full-time jobs in Florida since entering the state in 2013.
Amazon said the new center along with two under development in Jacksonville will boost Amazon to 10 locations in the state. Those sites include fulfillment and sortation centers and Prime Now hubs.
Amazon also plans to open a sortation center and a delivery station in Jacksonville but has not confirmed them, although they are under development.
The city issued a permit Wednesday for the manual sort and conveyor system for Amazon’s sortation center at the Westside Industrial Park in West Jacksonville.
The delivery station is being built-out at Alta Lakes Commerce Center in North Jacksonville.
Amazon said the Miami center will boost Amazon’s workforce in Florida to more than 7,500. Jacksonville’s Amazon workforce is expected to reach about 3,000, not counting seasonal employment.
The Miami facility will feature Amazon Robotics to help fill orders.
Florida Blue renovation approved
The city approved an almost $5.7 million renovation for Florida Blue at its Deerwood Park campus.
Danis Construction LLC will renovate 12,300 square feet at Building 300 at 4800 Deerwood Campus Parkway.
Florida Blue said previously the renovation was just the first of its older campus structures.
Of the seven buildings on its campus, three opened in 1996, two in 1998 and two more plus a conference center and four-story parking garage in 2008. The 1.3 million square feet of space was developed on 115 acres.
Building renovations will include six floors of mechanical, electrical, plumbing, drywall, paint, carpet, flooring, casework and restroom repairs.
• The Loop Pizza Grill was OK’d for renovations at the Sadler Point Marine Center at 4591 Lakeside Drive. The construction cost of the 3,052-square-foot Avondale-area project is almost $460,000. It replaces the one at St. Johns Village, which was demolished for redevelopment as an apartment community.
• La Nopalera was approved for build-out at the Avenues South center at 11035 Philips Highway at a construction cost of $100,000. It will occupy 4,400 square feet.