DENVER – Several shop owners in Cherry Creek North say they’re losing business because construction crews are taking up prime parking spots.
“A large number of (construction) projects seem to have gotten the green light at the same time,” said Beth Smith, of Dolce, a gallery specializing in jewelry and sculpture art. “It’s really impacted the ability of people to even drive down here.”
Denver City Councilman Wayne New, whose district includes Cherry Creek North, told Denver7 there are nine construction projects underway in the district and that two more are scheduled.
If anyone needs proof, all they have to do is scan the skyline and check out the cranes.
Denver Public Works has “bagged” several meters near the construction zones, so work crews can park next to their job sites, but many are parking in regular metered parking spots.
“The trucks are huge,” said Regina Serna, manager of Coquette, a small boutique specializing in European clothing. “Some of them feed the meters all day long.”
Serna said it’s having a big impact on her business.
Dolce told Denver7 that a handful of people walk by her gallery every day now, instead of a handful walking by every hour.
“It’s a huge difference,” she said.
Just as frustrating, Smith said, is the apparent lack of communication between construction companies and the retailers themselves.
“There seems to be zero transparency about anything that’s happening with these projects,” Smith said. “When something has been approved. When it’s supposed to start. When meters are going to be blocked off. We have absolutely no idea.”
Serna said she contacted the city and that man she talked to was very rude.
“I asked him, why can’t you put up signs saying ‘no construction worker parking allowed,’ and he said, ‘that’s discrimination.’ I’m sorry, but (as an employee) I’m not allowed to park at the meters. There’s no such thing as discrimination. It’s retail.”
Working on a resolution
Councilman New said his office has heard from frustrated retailers and is trying to work on a resolution. He said they’re looking at trying to move construction workers to a nearby garage.
“We hope to negotiate a better deal so they can perhaps park on the upper deck at Cherry Creek Mall,” he said.
“We’re also looking to jointly fund a position with Public Works for someone who can walk the site and talk to construction companies and retailers,” to keep both sides informed about the others plans and concerns.
New also said the traffic related signage in the construction zones is poor and he’d like to see it improved.