Palmetto makes way for new multiuse building

nwilliams@bradenton.comFebruary 9, 2013 

PALMETTO -- By August, the city of Palmetto hopes unveil a new multimillion-dollar multi-use building, a notable project for the city's Community Redevelopment Agency.

Electra Health Club and Spa will move into the $2.1 million renovation of the River's Edge Apartments at 334 10th Ave. The current complex was demolished Thursday to make way for a new building that will accommodate the spa on the first floor, with apartment units on the second.

The second floor of the building will accommodate eight units, said Jeff Burton, director of the Palmetto CRA. The construction project is being performed by Palmetto's Zirkelbach Construction.

The spa, which has been in Riverside Plaza since 2006, has temporarily moved to 900 Eighth Ave. W. to make way for the It Works! Global redevelopment project at the Riverside Plaza. It Works! Global, a Michigan-based multimillion-dollar weight-loss body wrap and dietary supplement company, purchased the Riverside Plaza on the city's riverfront for company expansion.

"As scary as it was to move out, it's pretty exciting to be a part of what the city has been looking for, a multiuse building," said Susan Anderson, owner of Electra Health Club and Spa.

Electra serves the Palmetto and Bradenton area, reaching into the communities of Snead Island, Terra Ceia, Parrish and Ellenton.

The fitness center includes a world-class gym and aerobics studio, executive locker rooms and separate men's and women's

sauna and steam rooms. Their spa offers hair and nail services as well as massage, waxing and skin treatments.

While at the Riverside Plaza, Anderson's businesses took up 15,000 square feet. The new building will give her 10,000 square feet, but Anderson said it will be more efficient.

"I will be hands-on with designing of the new construction," Anderson said.

Anderson plans to have a larger group fitness room and expand her staff at the new building.

"Before, we had complaints of people having to use elevators or they couldn't find us," she said.

The redevelopment project is partly funded by an incentive package put together by the Palmetto CRA, worth an estimated $614,742, documents show. The project is also in the process of receiving assessment and asbestos study grants from the state's Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA grants were applied through the Sarasota-Manatee Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The multi-use building is in the newly created Palmetto Economic Enhancement District.

In December, Palmetto commissioners passed a resolution designating a portion of the city's Community Redevelopment Agency district as a brownfield area. The designated area, called Palmetto Economic Enhancement District, consists mainly of downtown Palmetto, including the plaza, with the bulk of the district planned along 17th Street West between 11th Avenue West and Canal Road.

Administered by the Florida Department of Environment Protection, the brownfield redevelopment program assists in the development of properties that may have environmental issues as a result of past uses, such as agricultural or industrial.

The program would make property owners in the brownfield eligible for grants, tax credits and other benefits.

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