Doris Mullins, of Ellenwood, hopes her new sports lounge will provide jobs in Henry County, as well as a place for residents on the north end of the county to enjoy themselves. She is glad to see other businesses cropping up in the area as well.
“The businesses we have here are needed in Ellenwood, to keep the money in Henry County,” said Mullins, owner of the Sports Zone, at 1792 Panola Road.
Similar sentiments were echoed by Henry County District V Commissioner Bruce Holmes, who represents the Fairview area. He said a number of new businesses have launched in the area in recent months, with positive results.
Holmes expects the budding trend to continue into the new year.
“Each business is doing very well,” said Holmes. “With the dense population in this area and the number of rooftops, there will be plenty of opportunity for expansion and growth.
“Business are recognizing that Fairview has great demographics, income, and education levels,” the commissioner continued. “Improving the aesthetics and providing more consumer choices in this area will motivate people from inside and outside of the county to shop, eat, and drink here in Henry County, helping to improve our commercial tax digest.”
The Sports Zone has operated in Ellenwood since 1988. Mullins bought it in the fall of 2011, because she wanted to make improvements to the facility for local patrons to enjoy.
“I’m a firm believer that if you want to keep your community a good area to live in, you need to get involved in the community,” said Mullins.
The lounge owner hopes it will help to create jobs in the Fairview area, and credited Holmes for his support of her endeavor.
“I think Commissioner Holmes is doing a great job in bringing the businesses we need, to keep us from having to go miles away,” said Mullins.
Another business which is expected to open, in Ellenwood, shortly after the first of the year, is Snap Fitness at 115 Fairview Road. The facility includes free weights, exercise equipment, training options and 24-hour access for members.
Greg Mooneyham, co-owner of the franchise gym, said he and his business partner, Jeff Carlyle, identified a market in northern Henry County centered on physical fitness.
“We found that it fits our business model,” said Mooneyham. “The demographics were good. There’s a big need. People in that area have to go quite a ways before they can find a gym.”
Stacy Lawrie is the owner of Stacy’s Alluring Boutique, which opened on Dec. 6, at 73 Fairview Road, in Ellenwood. The store features a combination of women’s business and casual wear. Lawrie, who also lives in Ellenwood, decided to launch the store after noticing a lack of clothing venues for working women in her area.
“They basically had to go to Stonecrest Mall, in Lithonia,” said Lawrie. “That was the nearest place for them shop.”
The boutique owner has received positive feedback from customers, and other small businesses which have come to Ellenwood recently. Additional facilities which are new to the area include Ellenwood Dialysis, and The Exigence Group, a New York-based health-care management organization. The Exigence facility, which is slated to be located off Fairview Road, could bring as many as 1,300 jobs to Henry County, according to Holmes.
The commissioner said residents in his district are excited about the future of the Fairview community. He said transportation projects and other planned beautification efforts will add green space and multi-use paths, and will attract more businesses and shoppers.