Thriving salon among businesses that have made mall a commercial magnet
Strip malls have fallen on hard times on the national retail scene, but that malaise hasn’t infected Conservancy Court in Saukville.
The mall at 620 E. Green Bay Ave., on the north side of Highway 33, has maintained a steady tenant base for more than a decade.
The drawing power of the 20,000-square-foot commercial complex was so strong after it opened in 2003, a 10,000-square-foot second phase was built in 2006.
“The key to the success of Conservancy Court has been the ability to attract core tenants that every community needs — like the hair salon, the chiropractor and the pet store,” said mall owner Tim Bach.
Although there has been some turnover in occupancy, Bach said, the business side of the mall has been pretty strong.
He said there are currently two vacancies, but they are expected to be filled soon.
Bach, who is also president of Kahl Construction in Saukville, said Conservancy Court has developed name recognition that has benefitted all of the businesses located there.
“When I came up with the idea, I knew I didn’t want it to be just a generic mall. It needed a name, which is why Conservancy Court is used on the sign and the monument stone — to give it an identity,” he said.
One of the businesses that has thrived in the mall setting is Salons of Conservancy Court, a collective of hair stylists that will mark its 10th year at the mall in June.
The primary salon owners are Tammy Allen and Mary Anheier, who rent salon space to other independent stylists. Each of those stylists is considered the owner of their business.
Allen and Anheier both came from a salon setting and find the mall location has worked out great for them.
“My customers really like the location, and especially all of the parking we have available,” Allen said.
The most challenging aspect of being in the bustling Saukville business corridor, she said, was having to deal with three road construction projects in 10 years.
Convenience has proven the greatest appeal to being part of a mall rather than an individual shop, Allen said.
It doesn’t take long for clients to find out the variety of services that are available in the strip mall, she said.
“I have customers who say their families know the day they have their hair done is going to be ‘pizza night’ because they always stop at Papa Murphy’s on the way home, or they make plans to go to the tanning salon, too,” Allen said.
She said the salon has a dozen work spaces, but it maintains an open atmosphere with half-walls to avoid the feeling of a series of little rooms.
“We are individual owners but there is the sense of working in a salon because of the common areas,” Allen said.
“We take turns answering the phone and have a common appointment book with different columns that show when each stylist is available. There really is not a sense of competition. We are all willing to help each other out.”
The shared space has led to some strong friendships between the stylists.
“I go running with one of the stylists, and go on vacations with another. It is a really supportive environment, and we have a pretty good time,” Allen said.
Anheier echoed that assessment.
“Everyone is closer than in any other place I’ve worked. I think it’s because we are all equal and have the same goal to make our individual and joint businesses a success,” she said.
“There are a great group of people in the mall who refer business to other stores within our mall. When people ask me where my salon is and I say Conservancy Court, they usually know where I’m talking about because they have frequented another business in the mall. We can feed on each other.”