Story and photo by Doug Petrowski
Gene Juarez is moving its cosmetology training program from Seattle’s Northgate neighborhood to the former CompUSA building in Mountlake Terrace’s Gateway Plaza.
The Gene Juarez Academy’s new location at 6007-244th St. S.W. could be ready for occupancy as soon as October, said the City of Mountlake Terrace’s Director of Community Development Shane Hope. However, it is more likely that the Academy will move in sometime in November or December, she added.
“It’s hugely significant for the Gateway Plaza district,” Hope said. “It will help all those businesses in the area, and it will provide revenue to the community as a whole.”
Gene Juarez has told the city that as many as 100,000 people will visit the facility over the course of a calendar year.
The Gene Juarez Academy plans to convert half of the 30,000-square-foot building that has been vacant since CompUSA left in 2007. The academy will remodel the space to include 110 salon stations, plus some additional classroom areas with interactive white boards for student training.
Neighboring businesses in the Gateway district include medical offices, an Office Depot, the Mazatlan restaurant, Cinebarre Theater and the Studio 6 Motel.
In addition to the 25-year-old Northgate branch, Gene Juarez operates a training program in Federal Way.
“While it is sad to say goodbye to our original home, we are more than ready to take our academies into the future with our new location,” said Jerry Ahern, vice president of education for Gene Juarez Salons and Spas. “Our new campus will propel our reputation as the most progressive…in the country.”
Students generally attend the Academy three days a week and complete the program in about 13 months.