Hillsborough Street businesses say construction project is bad for sales
Posted February 9, 2010 5:46 p.m. EST
Updated February 9, 2010 6:29 p.m. EST
Raleigh, N.C. — Business owners along Hillsborough Street in Raleigh say a road construction project there is hurting their sales.
Last spring, construction began on the project to make Hillsborough Street more pedestrian- and traffic-friendly.
“The first week in May, when they put the barrels up, there was a drop in sales,” said Ric Culross, general manager of School Kids Records, 2114 Hillsborough St.
In the past year, Culross said, business has dropped 75 percent.
“We're trying very, very hard to keep our nose above the water line, but (at) each phase it seems to be worse and worse,” he said.
Construction has cut into School Kids’ parking lot, and a new median keeps people from turning left into the lot, he said.
Red Hot and Blue, located at the corner of Hillsborough Street and Oberlin Road, recently shut its doors.
The Irregardless Café, at 901 W. Morgan St., is located around the corner from the construction, but it's not immune to the fallout.
“It’s having a huge impact. It’s making it very difficult to get to the restaurant,” said owner Arthur Gordon.
Business is down about 26 percent, Gordon said.
The construction will eventually make West Morgan a two-way street, which means more traffic toward his restaurant.
“We're suffering in the hopes that, once the street is finished, we'll be able to take a curse and turn it into a blessing,” he said.
Back on Hillsborough Street, business owners are less confident.
“When you change the thought that there is a problem with the street, it’s going to be hard to reach out and get those people to come back here,” Culross said.
The construction project is expected to be completed in September.