Downtown Construction Has Hurt some Businesses
Yakima, Wa - Construction is moving along smoothly, but for some businesses downtown the revitalization process has been bumpy a ride.
Sidewalk access and parking have been the two big problems. Business is slowly getting back to normal at Barista Coffee. Jeff Rey-Sears says they took a hit at the cash register because customers could not come in the front door during construction.
"We lost quite a bit. Probably 40% to 50% of our customers," he says.
Rey-Sears says he felt a little caught off guard by the construction. He was only given four days notice. The construction that blocked his storefront lasted about five weeks, finishing up last Wednesday.
"we were kinda the lucky ones because we have two entrances to come in, but there's a lot of businesses that don't have that extra entrance and so it does create quite a problem for them."
Store access has been an issue, but maybe not the biggest one for downtown businesses.
"I think the biggest problem was parking," says mitch weary, manager of Mills Music. He says business has taken a little dip due to parking, but seems to think it will be worth the sacrifice in the long run.
"I think the new sidewalks will our store a new fresh look. We can do things outside our store to add to downtown in a special way musically."
There's more construction planned for downtown next spring. New sidewalks, lighting and landscaping will be put in from front street west on Yakima Avenue.