Day-spa opening pushed back

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Construction on the Elements Day Spa building continues over two years after it began, and the sidewalk and parking in front of the construction have been blocked during the process.

Elements will likely be ready at the end of the year, or later

Construction continues on the Elements Day Spa building just south of Washington Avenue and Second Street, with no concrete opening date yet set.

Work on the building began in 2005, with construction expected to be completed in the fall of that year. But building owner Deanna Carr opted to seek special environmental certification for her building, and both the construction timetable and the construction budget expanded considerably. Originally, Carr said the new building would cost $4 million. Later, she said the construction budget has grown to $10 million.

Meanwhile, other businesses on the downtown block continue to deal with restricted street access and work crews blocking sidewalk access.

Erica Filker, director of the 7 Stones spa that will occupy much of the building, said she has no firm opening date, either. She said the spa has been doing some hiring and getting people ready to work as construction persists.

Dan Bates, supervisor for T. Gerding Construction, contractor on the project, said his crews are now working toward a late-December completion date. However, city permits for blocking the sidewalk and parking spaces on Second Street were recently extended to Feb. 15.

“We’ve been busy the whole time. Our schedule has been longer because of LEED time-outs,” Bates said.

LEED is a certification program run by the U.S. Green Building Council that provides incentives for designing sustainable, efficient buildings.

Under the LEED program, construction projects are awarded points based on a variety of criteria including sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and emissions, and materials as well as extra points for design innovation.

Certification ratings are ranked by points earned, forming silver, gold and platinum ratings. Projects seeking LEED Silver certification — like the Elements building —must earn half of the possible points in the design and construction of the building.

The U.S. Green Building Council estimates that LEED Silver projects will cost an average of 1.9 percent over the cost of building a traditional structure, much less than the reality at Elements, though much of that could be attributed to amenities outside the scope of environmental considerations.

The Elements building Web site lists a host of dramatic items planned for the 27,500-square-foot structure, including walls of recycled glass tile, reclaimed wood ceilings, a rooftop garden and water features on each floor.

“There are a lot of high-dollar items in there,” Bates said. “When it does open, people will say, ‘Wow.’”

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