Downtown building to get face lift

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
November 16th, 2012

A very visible building in the city’s downtown core is gearing up for a facelift after being purchased by Element Club, Bar & Grill owners George and Florio  Vassilakakis.

The building at 270 Columbia Ave., adjacent to the Element and currently housing the SculptureWalk offices and Book Co., will be gutted and renovated to create six residential units and two commercial spaces, according to Florio.

“We bought the property a year-and-a-half ago,” he said. “We’ve started demolitions and we’ve got the drawings in to the city. We’re probably going to move forward with it this spring. We still need to redo the roof and we’re waiting for final drawings for the plumbing.”

He said they plan to make the space modern and appealing, to help attract people to the downtown core.

“Any downtown revitalization needs to have a residential component to it – you want that downtown hustle and bustle going on, and right now, it’s empty after about 5 p.m.,” he said. “If people aren’t living there and moving around down there, there’s no incentive for businesses to open, which will in turn draw more people.

“The more people you bring to the downtown, the better it is for business.”

In related news, he also said he’s got an application in the works to get licensing for the Element that would allow families to dine in a portion of the restaurant all the time.



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