3rd tenant in renovated Angelina Hotel adds to growth in downtown Lufkin

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A third retail tenant has opened for business in the first floor of the newly renovated Angelina Hotel, a longtime historic landmark of Lufkin's downtown area.

The Bella Salon & Boutique opened its doors on July 9th. The salon offers hair services, massages, and permanent cosmetics.

Owner Brenda Weaver said she saw that positive growth and change was happening in downtown Lufkin and wanted to bring another good shopping opportunity to the area. She said she also wanted to offer a place where women could come and enjoy a relaxing day at the salon.

The second retailer inside the Angelina Hotel opened in March. Although Mama Tried was previously located on First Street in the downtown area, owner Wanda Wesch said she wanted to be a part of the revitalized downtown atmosphere.

Wesch says the hotel offered more space for her business.

"Downtown is alive and people are coming, checking us out walking the streets and visiting people from out of town. Their excited about what's going on and so I'm just looking forward to the other tenets whenever they get here," Wesch said in a previous East Texas News story.

The first tenant, a children's boutique, moved into the space in November. The store is owned by husband and wife Joe and Morgan Burton, and the couple said they love being a part of the hotel's history.

"People want to come in, and they want to see what's going on, and how it's changed because people remember this building," Morgan Burton said.

In a previous story, developer Mark Hicks said the Restoration Wine Bar and Thompson's Grill are expected to open later this summer. Hicks said downtown lofts are still in the early development stages.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Lufkin, the historic Hotel Angelina serves as a memory of the town's past.

"It's definitely a big part of Lufkin's history," Mark Hicks, the president of Angelina Holdings, said. "It's important to people here in Lufkin, and we preserve our history in the downtown area."

The Lufkin City Council approved a $100,000 grant in early February 2012 for the project, which included a demolishing of the first floor to make room for a retail plaza.

"The first floor of the hotel affords seven different spaces, six being retail, and one restaurant space," Hicks said in a previous story.

However, that's only the beginning.

Hicks plans on restoring the hotel to its former glory by turning the space into modern day lofts with a hint of historical charm. Eighty percent of the retail plaza has been leased, and Hicks believes the project will add more foot traffic to the downtown area.

"Many people can see in the Lufkin area that the downtown area is starting to expand again, and things are happening and retails moving in and more traffic is coming to the area," Hicks said. "The hotel was sort of a likely move to continue the development down the street."

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