Curtis Park Reboot
Franklin Boulevard building gets refreshed under new ownership
By Jessica Laskey
When you drive by Franklin Boulevard and 11th Avenue—one of the most highly trafficked corners of Curtis Park, just off Highway 99—you might notice things look a bit different.
The formerly nondescript building one block down from Sutterville Road now features an arresting mural by local artist Natalia Sanchez (who goes by the moniker CH3Z) of a Medusa-like figure with flowing locks and piercing eyes that glow at night. Overgrown bushes have been pruned or replaced with bright blooms. The building has been painted, and sleek new exterior lighting illuminates a chic sign for The London Beauty Bar. Everything in the three-tenant shopping center looks brighter and lighter—all thanks to new owner Margaret Levandoski.
“After years of being overlooked and unkept, the building just needed a little bit of love and care,” says Levandoski, a Land Park resident who bought the nearly 60-year-old building four years ago with funds from the sale of her automotive and consumer finance data company Direct Performance Data. “I wanted to do something to help revitalize the area.”
The Placerville native grew up in Sacramento before moving to Newport Beach for her work in automotive advertising. She stayed down south for 20 years before moving back to Sacramento to start DPD and fell in love with Curtis Park and the surrounding area. When DPD sold, Levandoski searched for a way to invest in her community—and the Franklin Boulevard building was just what she was looking for.
Levandoski spruced up the exterior and rehabbed the building’s existing beauty salon, renaming it The London Beauty Bar after her 12-year-old daughter London (who she hopes will inherit the business one day).
The salon concept is just one part of Levandoski’s multifaceted The London Firm, which she founded in 2015 as an umbrella company for her myriad projects in interior design, construction remodeling, branding and new business development consultation. The salon joins existing tenants Curtis Park Spa and VIP Experience Salon & Barber Shop.
Now that salons can be back in business, per county COVID health guidelines, “I’ve been interviewing people and sending out postcards to every beauty school in the area,” says Levandoski, who credits her Aries astrological sign with her tendency to jump into things with both feet. “No matter what I do with it, I wanted to make it look the nicest it can.”
The London Beauty Bar will feature salon services, of course, but also a rotating inventory of unique gifts and jewelry. Levandoski, a “hardcore” flea market lover, also plans to host monthly flea markets called Franklin Flea in the parking lot when the pandemic allows, as well as regular food vendors—like a cart, featuring bacon-wrapped hot dogs, she’s procuring as a loving homage to the Los Angeles Garment District. Levandoski hopes to make this corner of Curtis Park just as much of a destination as the iconic Southern California discount shopping district.
“This is such a great area—we’re in a great location and we know all our neighbors,” Levandoski says. “My daughter and I will often have mommy-daughter time in Land Park where we walk and get our nails done, shop a little, then get ice cream at Vic’s and walk home. That’s what I want our building to be for Curtis Park.
“I envision the flea market, hot dogs, donuts (from across-the-street neighbor Yum Yum Donuts), good weather and being the place that people in the neighborhood want to walk to.”
For more information, visit thelondonbeautybar.com.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.