Local News

After Tough Times, Businesses Excited About Fayetteville Street Reopening

Posted July 28, 2006
Updated December 18, 2006

— After 16 months of dust and debris, some business owners can't wait for the imminent reopening of Fayetteville Street. For them, the transformation of the street has been more than just an inconvenience, but also a business buster.

Business at 9th Street Flower drooped during construction by as much as 50 percent. With detours and construction debris all over the place, Kevin McDaniel said customers just couldn't get to him. Things got so bad that 9th Street Flowers shut down one of its other area stores.

"We closed (the Cary location) because we believed in the project here," said McDaniel.

The project was expected to last 14 months, but it's actually taken more than 16 months to complete. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said the street's dynamics will change overnight, and a huge marketing push can only help.

"When you talk about linking the museums and the performing arts center, we are talking about 3 million people a year between those venues alone that can see up and down the street and say, 'Hey, what's happening on the other side of the street? Let's take a walk down there,'" said Kris Larson with the Downtown Raleigh Alliance.

Danny Nesrallah, the owner of America Pita and Grill, said he really hopes that's true and that business will heat up. He estimated a construction loss of $10,000 a month.

"Let's rock and roll and get this thing up and running and bring energy back to downtown Raleigh, hopefully," said Nesrallah.

McDaniel was already optimistic.

"We are fired up that we are almost done and business has started to come back," he said.

Some businesses, like the Dakota Grill and Est Est Est, didn't make it until the end of the project. The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said while it has been tough on many companies, other larger businesses have reported no significant loss in revenue.

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