First, he climbed the national ranks of the College Republicans. Then, he tackled GW’s Student Association. Now, senior Kris Hart plans to embark upon a new chapter of his life: tanning.
At a Wednesday night meeting of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, a local community group that makes zoning recommendations, the commissioners voted 4 to 1 to allow Hart, along with sophomore Graham Galka and GW alumnus Todd Stromberg to start a tanning salon. The tanning salon is slated to open on campus at 2112 F St. at the end of March.
The proposal before the commission Wednesday night was to change the zoned use of the building, ANC Chairman Vince Micone said. The former tenant of the space had been a pharmacy, and the commission was asked by the D.C. Board of Zoning Adjustment to comment on the proposed change, Micone said.
Hart, Galka and Stromberg obtained a loan from the Small Business Association to help build a tanning salon, Hart said. The three joined together to discuss starting their own business last March. Hart said it was important that the proposal pass the commission.
“Our Small Business Association loan closes in a few months,” Hart said at Wednesday’s meeting. “We are currently missing our prime season and heading into the most difficult season.”
Dorothy Miller, a longtime commissioner whom Hart unsuccessfully ran against in November 2004, was the only dissenting vote.
Hart was president of the SA for the 2003-2004 school year and is currently finishing his majors in business, public policy and economics. Hart has four classes left to complete his degree after taking a year off to work on the tanning salon, he said.
“It only goes to show how much I love GW,” Hart said of his plans to open a business in the area.
Galka is a sophomore majoring in international affairs and said he does not know when he will graduate.
“I might be taking some time off for this,” Galka said, referring to the time he will spend at the new salon.
Stromberg said he manages e-commerce for Victory Van Lines, a moving company. He got his bachelor’s degree in international affairs and his master’s degree in diplomatic history from GW and has lived in the area since his freshman year, in 1988.
Hart said the idea to open the salon came to him and his partners when they were trying to come up with a business that they could run with scant resources.
The company’s Web site, www.relaxedgw.com, is already up and running with prices posted. The site even reports the salon’s address as 2112 F St. The tanning salon will neighbor a methadone clinic on F Street.
Prior to the meeting, Micone said that he had not heard from anyone opposed to the salon.
“In that building it would be very nice to have some sort of business on the street level,” he said.