Heartside ribbon cutting opens $3.5M Aveda Institute in style

On Tuesday, two women models put their heads together and joined their hair extensions to create a four-foot-long braided “ribbon” for the Douglas J. Aveda Institute ribbon-cutting ceremony. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell and Aveda’s co-owner and President Scott Weaver were on hand with scissors to cut the "ribbon" and officially open the institute for business.

The Douglas J Company recently invested $3.5 million to purchase and restore the former Post Office building at 138 Commerce Avenue SW. The investment included a $50,000 grant from the Downtown Development Authority.

“We’re excited about joining Cooley Law School and Western Michigan University to revitalize the area into becoming an educational corridor,” Weaver said. “We thank the city for its help with this project.”

The Institute has a twenty-year history of educating aspiring professionals in hair styling and coloring, skin care, and nail therapy. Students provide services to guests under the supervision of licensed instructors.

Renovation of the 14,000-square-foot education and styling areas include the abatement of lead based paints found in the original building, installation of 54 custom 11’ 7” aluminum-framed windows, and the addition of 60 hair styling stations, four manicure stations, and four spa rooms.

The use of low VOC (volatile organic compound) paints helps promote healthy indoor environmental air quality. Glass sectional garage doors in the west exterior wall open the building to a landscaped patio area where guests can relax during warm weather months.

“One of our founding principles is to give back to the community we’re in,” Scott Weaver said. “We hope we’re able to form a great relationship with the other businesses, residents, and employees in the downtown area.”

Source: Scott Weaver, Douglas J. Aveda Institute; Darrin McKenna, Studio Intrigue Architects

Mayor Heartwell cuts the "ribbon" at the grand opening - Photo by Brian Kelly

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