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Real estate: Fitness center and beauty shop take remainder of location

Posted: December 20, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 20, 2011 1:30 a.m.

Workmen put up temporary walls as a skip loader moves debris from the interior of the store as construction continues to renovate the old Mervyn’s store in the River Oaks Shopping Center on Friday

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Two new businesses, Total Woman Gym & Day Spa and Ulta Beauty, are moving into the remaining retail space vacated by Mervyn’s in 2008, said Ben Jarvis, associate planner with the city of Santa Clarita.

The last third of the retail space will be subdivided between the two tenants at the River Oaks Shopping Center on Magic Mountain Parkway, he said. Separate entrances will be built for each of the tenants.

Total Woman has submitted a minor-use permit application, which will go to a hearing in early 2012, Jarvis said.

“The lease has already been signed, and we have a hearing on Jan. 23,” said Liz Caputo, director of development and construction for Total Woman.

Ulta Beauty could not be reached for comment.

Originally founded in 1965, the first Total Woman location was opened in West Los Angeles by Art Stone, who owned and operated a chain of 11 beauty salons throughout the L.A. area. The idea for a day spa came from his clients at the time, who expressed the desire for a combined spa and fitness center for women.

Total Woman currently has 12 locations, including new centers in Studio City and Valencia, with gym and spa locations in L.A., Orange and San Diego counties.

“We are also expanding through the Western region states and Texas,” Caputo said. “We have plans to open six to eight locations per year, both inside and outside of California, over the next four to five years.”

Mervyn’s closed after the company reorganized itself by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the summer of 2008, but didn’t survive the recession, which was already well under way.

The 75,000 square foot store had been sitting empty until Sprouts Farmers Market opened in September 2010 and buybuyBABY opened at the end of the same year. The remaining approximate 25,000 square feet remained vacant until now.

Construction has already begun, to convert the space for the two new tenants.

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