On windy days, the construction currently underway at the Cascades at Carlsbad is an irritant to residents with homes that abutt the project area. The dirt and sand blows into their yards and homes and it's hard to keep the dust off the furniture, some residents say.

But the end is near, said John Waters, Carlsbad Department of Development executive director. The canal, with fountains and lighting, is close to completion and the parking lot and other site work should be fully completed by mid-July, he said.

The Cascades at Carlsbad is located along Park Drive and on the west side of the river and next to the city tennis complex.

"We have a lot of dirt work going on and we understand the residents' concerns," Waters said. "We work here and we are also affected when the wind blows hard and the dirt goes everywhere. I certainly feel for the tennis players when they are on the court next to the Cascades. They get sandblasted. When the wind really kicks up, we call in a water tanker to wet down the area and keep the dirt down as best as we can."

Waters said the CDOD can ill-afford to lose a lot of dirt and added: "We are in the flood plain and we need the dirt to build up the area and make it a little higher."

Waters said in addition to the construction of the canal and parking lot, utilities are also being installed to accommodate future expansion of the 35-acre area owned by the CDOD.

Currently Stoller Corporation, the Records Center and CDOD are housed on the top floors in one of the buildings at the Cascades. The ground floor is vacant. However, Waters said once construction and landscaping of the grounds is completed, there is a strong possibility an Italian restaurant will open there.

"It's not Olive Garden," Waters said, dispelling rumors that the national chain is coming to Carlsbad. "It's a regional restaurant chain out of El Paso that we are talking with."

The second building at the Cascades is home to the National Cave and Karst Research Institute.

Waters said the CDOD is working hard to bring in more businesses to the Cascades at Carlsbad. He said lots are for sale within the complex.

"These lots are open to the public to buy. Of course, if someone wants to build a new business facility there are covenants, such as the building has to meet the architectural standards and it has to be built within two years of the lot purchase," he said.

Waters said the water canal feature with the fountains, when completed, will be about 1,500 feet in length and 30 feet wide. He said he believes its layout will add to the aesthetics of the business complex.

He said the CDOD is working hard to promote the business complex that, when fully developed, will have paved roads and landscaping. Waters said ideally, the Cascades would be well-suited to a mix of retail stores, restaurants and gift shops.