Capital Station picking up steam

DOVER — Business is starting to pick up at the Capital Station Shopping Center, from groceries to gourmet coffee to eyeglasses to massages.
Massage Envy officially opened its doors on Tuesday morning at the shopping complex, much of which remains under construction at the intersection of North U.S. 13 and Division Street.

Alicia Norris, the owner of Massage Envy, is excited about contributing to the buzz that Capital Station is creating as more and more stores and restaurants approach their opening date on the 9-acre property.
“This is going to be booming,” Ms. Norris said, of her new location in Dover.

“I think Dover really has needed something like this. We’re very excited to be here. We share a building with Starbucks and that’s one of my favorite stores. My first location was in Christiana and it’s right next to a Starbucks, too.

“This is our first day, we’re extremely excited. We offer customized therapeutic massage, relaxation massage and we do a lot of skin care, too. We have 11 rooms. We actually have two couple’s rooms, a couple’s room where we can do skin care and then a couple’s room that’s massage only.”

Massage Envy will offer massage services, total body stretch, rapid tension relief and skin care services including facials and waxing.
The Red Robin restaurant that stopped construction several weeks ago sits adjacent to Ms. Norris’ new location but is scheduled to resume construction in a week or two, according to Charles Rodriguez of R&R Commercial Realty, the leasing broker for Capital Station.

“A lot of it’s just timing,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “Everything is moving along nicely now with Red Robin getting ready to go back to work either next week or the week after. Everything’s still a go with Red Robin. It’s definitely moving forward. We just had one little hiccup and it will get going really soon.”

Dover City Planner Dave Hugg said he is happy to see businesses such as Massage Envy and others bringing a variety of business options to the capital city.
“It’s obviously exciting to see Capital Station get some momentum,” Mr. Hugg said. “There are a lot of positive things taking place out there right now.”

Mr. Hugg said he was relieved to hear that Red Robin is set to resume construction, especially after work on the building came to a stop.
“Red Robin is going to resume construction very soon,” he said. “That was worrisome. That’s probably the worst thing you can have there is a half-done building that doesn’t get finished.”

Alicia Norris’ Massage Envy is the most recent business to open in the shopping center.

A couple of other businesses that are on the “soon to come” list at Capital Station include an Orangetheory Fitness gym, a Delicious Fusion Japanese restaurant, a Verizon store and a Supercuts, near Massage Envy.

“The Starbucks seems to be doing really well and hopefully we’ll get Red Robin open soon,” Mr. Rodriguez said. “I think we’ve got it worked out and we’ve got a pretty good mix of tenants. Delicious Fusion is just a little behind waiting on board of health approvals, but we’ll see them open soon as well.”

As for Massage Envy, Ms. Norris said she believes her business will offer Dover residents something they haven’t had access to before.
“I was in a car accident almost 20 years ago and part of my care was getting massage twice a week,” she said. “After doing that and being released from all that I realized I still needed to get the massage. I don’t get relaxation massage, I go for the therapeutic deep tissue and finding some place in Delaware to get that was really difficult.

“I was working in Baltimore (living in Newark), so I was traveling an hour-and-a-half every day one way and weekends were my only option. There are not many places in Delaware where you can go get massages on the weekends. We’re open seven days a week, with extensive hours — Monday through Friday 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturdays 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. We’ve got a lot of hours that the working person can come in for.”

Massage Envy currently has six massage therapists and nine employees.
It will also offer memberships that include one monthly massage, stretch or customized facial. Members also receive unlimited additional massage, facial or stretch session every month at low membership rates with family add-on specials and discounts on selected retail products and access to more than 1,500 locations nationwide.

She said she is happy to be a part of the Capital Station project, which is taking place at the site of the former Playtex plant and water tower on the property.

When the project was getting on its feet more than two years ago, Brian Finnegan, principal at Whitewoods Capital Advisors LLC, which is developing Capital Station, said the shopping complex would eventually change the look and feel of the area.

It appears as if he was right.
“I understand the city of Dover sees this as the gateway (to the city), and very much so it is,” Mr. Finnegan said, during the planning process. “This is your one chance to develop a site like this. Once it’s developed, it is what it is. It’s an important corner for the city of Dover.

“You’re looking at an old industrial building (Playtex) and it’s an eyesore, even for the neighborhood across the street. That’s not really what you really want to see driving into the governmental center.”
Mr. Rodriguez said he is pleased at the interest that has been shown by businesses at moving into Capital Station.

“We have seen lots of good activity and we still have a little space left. If somebody wants it, they’re more than welcome to give me a call,” he said.

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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