Drivers beware: construction has officially begun on a section of Broadway. The project will eventually completely redo the roadway from Yale to Arizona.
While neighboring business owners welcome the upgrade they are concerned what the construction will mean to their bottom line.
Among those concerned is Lisa Biro. She opened Capital Tea three years ago and called the construction worrisome.
"It makes Broadway look a little less inviting," Biro said. "But in the long run we're taking the view that it's going to be incredible when it's done."
Not far away, Brooklyn's Antiques has called Broadway home for years. Owner Dan Powell is concerned the project will give him fewer chances to make a sell in a tough recession.
"If we have the construction, yes it is going to slow down traffic but people are going to be concerned about what's in front of them, not about what they're seeing on the side streets," Powell said.
The city of Denver estimates about 30,000 people travel Broadway daily. Each of those drivers is a potential customer. To minimize the impact construction will have on business, the city will concentrate on two blocks at a time. It will also help business owners with signs to lead customers to parking.
One new business owner on Broadway believes the construction may actually help business.
Caroline Momo-Torres opened Colore, an Italian eatery along Broadway, about four weeks ago. She is now partnering with other shops in the area on advertising and specials to get customers through the construction and in the door.
"You just got to roll with it," Momo-Torres said. "You can't complain too much. It is just the pains that go with growing and rejuvenating."
The reconstruction project is expected to cost $34 million. Most is coming from bonds and federal grants.
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