LaserAway Moves Ahead With Castro Location, Massage Envy Looks Elsewhere

LaserAway Moves Ahead With Castro Location, Massage Envy Looks Elsewhere
Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline
By Shane Downing - Published on March 17, 2016.

The long-empty storefront at 410 Castro St.—previously vacated by phone company Sprint—is one step closer to having a new occupant: LaserAway, a laser hair removal service. The space is located next to SoulCycle, at the corner of Castro and Market.

LaserAway currently operates a location on Union Street in Cow Hollow. According to Jessica Heckmann, the company’s regional manager, LaserAway is eager to open its doors in the Castro.

“We’re really excited to get into the neighborhood,” said Heckmann. “It’s an area where the service isn’t currently being offered. We would be overjoyed to be part of the neighborhood.”

With locations in California, Arizona, and Nevada, LaserAway is considered a formula retailer by the city of San Francisco. Because of this, the company needs to seek a conditional use permit from the Planning Commission in order to open in the 1,270-square-foot retail space on Castro.

Photo: Steven Bracco/Hoodline

The Castro Merchants voted in February to support LaserAway’s proposal to move into the neighborhood. According to the association’s president, Daniel Bergerac, the vote was nearly unanimous.

LaserAway will head to the Planning Commission on April 14th to find out about the status of their application. The Castro Merchants have already sent the commission a letter of support for the company.

According to Heckmann, the Castro location will offer the same laser hair and tattoo removal services as its Union Street location and will be open seven days a week between the hours of 10am and 8pm.

If all goes well with the Planning Commission, we can expect to see LaserAway in the Castro by the end of summer. The store anticipates as many as 30 scheduled appointments per day.

At this time, LaserAway is not considering any other San Francisco locations.

“Right now we’re really hopeful [for the Castro location],” said Heckmann. “We’re excited about the opportunity and to even be considered to be the next business in the neighborhood.”

With the commission’s approval, 410 Castro St. will have a permanent occupant for the first time since Sprint let its lease expire in 2013.

Other formula retail businesses have also been eyeing the Castro.

Massage Envy, which currently operates a store in the Metreon, had been considering the former RadioShack space at 2288 Market St.; however, after months of discussions with the landlord, Massage Envy will not be moving forward with a Castro location.

Photo: Shane Downing/Hoodline

According to Dexter Lee, Massage Envy’s owner, the landlord has decided to go with another tenant.

“As a resident of the [Castro], I would have loved to see Massage Envy play a part in helping to bring some new traffic to the area,” said Lee.  “But, it's not meant to be at this moment.”

Lee plans to look elsewhere in the city to open a second San Francisco location.

We will continue to follow the former RadioShack space and will keep you updated on what you can expect to see at 2288 Market St.