After more than eight years on a prominent downtown Rochester corner, the owner of Essence Skin Clinic is sadly moving due to the city’s changes to First Avenue
I’ve loved being here … I’ll miss my neighbors, especially Eagle Drug, so much,” said Essence owner Jennifer Sanneman. “But things have changed, unfortunately.”
Sanneman began the business in 1998. It offers a variety of skin services like Botox, fillers, laser treatments, facials, waxing and more to help men and women to feel more confident about their appearances.
The move to the high-profile spot on the corner of First Avenue and Second Street Southwest was to bring Essence closer to Mayo Clinic patients and employees. Going into 2021. But both of those groups have decreased due to the pandemic, plus the business is no longer as accessible with less street parking.
“I’ve heard comments from patients saying, “if you had parking, I’d pop in to buy a product or have a quick wax,’” she said. “Those people are my bread and butter, the actual people that keep my business going.”
The Destination Medical Center’s $17 million Heart of the City project is the force behind the changes, which include removing street parking near Essence and planting 101 trees.
“The parking is really valuable to all of these downtown businesses,” she said. “And I am a treehugger. I love trees, but these trees here will take over and block the signs of the businesses.”
Construction work has begun to build out a new, much larger Essence at 1640 W. Center St. on the street-level of the Avani Living apartment complex by the Miracle Mile Shopping Center. Essence will be next door to the Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery store.
If things go as planned, Sanneman hopes to move her team of five and all of their equipment into the new space by late March, if not sooner.
“It’s going to be really beautiful and elegant,” she said.
The new 2,600-square-foot Essence Skin Clinic will have nine client rooms. Having more room than the 1,500-square-foot space downtown means that Sanneman will be able to offer additional services, like massage, with client showers and an infrared sauna.
She says moving from the downtown location that was “beautiful” for her business for years was a stressful, but necessary transition.
“I’m excited, but it’s really scary at the same time,” said Sanneman.