Country Club Plaza business owners were worried about a lack of customers when 68th Avenue twinning construction began and it seems the road work is having an impact in the area.
Businesses in the Plaza remain open during construction but owners like Darren Dorschid are seeing a decrease in revenue brought in. He is the owner of the Tim Horton’s franchise.
“Going by our original numbers, with the downturn and before construction we were down 25 to 26 per cent. In August, I am down 35 to 38 per cent. The only major thing that has happened since May to August is that construction. That leads me to believe I’ve lost an additional 14 to 15 per cent just because of construction.”
Dorschid says the decrease in profits has brought him to reduce the hours he can offer employees. He would like to see the city provide some sort of compensation for the ongoing road closure, or some sort of tax break to make up for the losses and an update on when they will complete the project.
“From what I have gathered, the city doesn’t really have a policy for how they help the local business owners if they are doing a major construction project that has major impact on businesses. That is something the city needs to work on.”
Another business owner from the plaza Richard Ames also attended a community growth committee meeting on September 6th to re-voice his worries about the construction impacting business in the area. He was vocal about his concerns when the construction started up because he had experience with similar construction in 2010.
“Even though there was access into the plaza, the decrease in the amount of traffic that flows through the area is affecting the business,” he said in May. “A lot of the businesses in the plaza are on my way home or on my way to work type of businesses.”
The $8.8 million project has had part of 68th closed between 108th street and Poplar Drive since the beginning of May. The city most recently said it would be done this fall, and construction continues.
Dorschid says he was under the impression that the first week of September was when the project was set for completion.