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Uptown Marion salon to close its doors
by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · October 26th, 2017

The face of Uptown Marion will soon be changing as part of an Imagine8 plan to replace the existing Marion Square Mall structure. Plans will begin to come to fuition as they include a multi-use facility including retail, apartments, and new public library.

In the wake of this change, several retailers and businesses at the Marion Square Mall location decided to close up shop, including the Cost Cutters salon which has been in operation for 29 years.

Cost Cutters Marion and Cedar Rapids District Manager Joni Leymaster said the eight-chair salon in Uptown Marion will officially close on Sunday, October 29, at 3 p.m. The company is planning to move equipment, shelving, and products to other locations on Monday, October 30, she said. And the six current stylists will move to other area locations.

Evans Enterprises, LLC owner Mark Evans said with talk of a new mixed-use library facility, the dated center's need for a facelift, several current vacant shops, and a new landlord's required longer lease on the table, he decided to close the Uptown business location after 29 years.

Evans also said he offered to buy the mall property from the former owner, and has recently learned it was sold to a local investor. According to, it was purchased by Genesis Equities in partnership with Ryan Companies.

Ryan Companies of Cedar Rapids was chosen by the library Board to be the project developer. Of the total $28 million project, "the City's (taxpayers) cost will be about $10 million, possibly less depending on the outcome of a capital campaign," they write.

Evans said there is a demand for barbers and cosmotologists, but he is waiting to see other market opportunities arise in Marion before making a move to open a new salon. He currently owns 39 Cost Cutters throughout the region, including one in Marion's Walmart and another one in Marion near Highways 151 and 13. Evan's wife, also named Joni, is the business' operations manager. She oversees four district managers, who oversee the salon managers, who oversee the stylists.

Each store location also offers a variety of professional hair care products including Redken and Paul Mitchell. And Evans Enterprises in Hiawatha includes a training center, where newly graduated stylists learn from top professionals' techniques in keeping with Cost Cutters hair cutting, perms, colors, and waxing high standards, Evans said.

Each year, the Evans Enterprises hosts a five-year party for Cost Cutters employees who have worked for the company five years or longer. Evans said 86 people attended this year's party, where they received prizes, such as Louis Vuitton Handbags and gift certificates up to $1,000 toward travel.

Evans said he was working in retail when he first bought 12 area Cost Cutters franchises from his dad, who originally owned the Styling Hutch in Cedar Rapids. "Dad was a barber and business person," Evans said.

If you're in the area or need a hair cut this weekend, visit the Uptown Marion Cost Cutters before they close. The company offers $5 off any service at all Marion locations until the end of the year.
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