A downtown Victoria business burned by arson will be shutting its doors for good.
Sattva Spa, located at 1411 Government St., was completely destroyed after a fire consumed the neighbouring Plaza Hotel building on May 6, 2019.
“Of course we’re really disappointed,” said owner Heidi Sherwood. “It’s not what we want to do but we don’t really have a choice.”
For the first eight months, Sherwood was optimistic in reopening, despite the overwhelming amount of work required to tackle smoke damage and flooding after millions of gallons of water were pumped into the building. All walls, ceilings, wiring, and plumbing needed to be replaced, as well as an elevator system and specialized spa equipment.
The building’s basement wasn’t accessible for three weeks due to structural concerns, and when people could finally go in they found it was waist-deep in water, covered in mould. Cracks in a shared wall between Sattva and the Plaza Hotel have been a troubling engineering issue.
Still, she planned on opening up within the next year or so. As of January, however, Sherwood realized this wouldn’t work out.
“The main change is that the building owner needs to step back and look at the costs of rebuilding and be careful,” Sherwood said. “There’s a lot of moving parts both structurally and coordinating what needs to happen internally.”
All the required repairs would take up to five years, Sherwood learned. Additionally, her insurance will only cover a few more months of rent for the space.
“It doesn’t make sense for us. Although we’re not operational we’re active in the background, but it’s not conducive for us to carry all these liabilities and responsibilities for this space as a tenant.”
She will not be looking at other locations for the spa.
Sattva’s sister business, Sapphire Day Spa, has remained open and taken on some of the staff and many of the customers.
“I want to say thank you to the clients and business partners who supported us through this,” Sherwood said. “What we got with that business was a real sense of community.”