Arena construction hitting local businesses

By Dick Berry - email

Posted by Dave Dykema - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's an absolute mess around the new downtown Toledo arena. Streets and sidewalks are torn up as new infrastructure goes into place.

"I think it's going to be a good project," says Doug Stephens, Engineering Services Director. "It's going to give a better looking downtown to highlight the arena."

But what an inconvenience it is to businesses like Biggby's Coffee Shop. This week alone business is off 30%.

The construction is keeping folks from coming in for a cup of Joe.

"Our regulars are fantastic. Pretty consistent," says Adde Augsburger of Biggby's Coffee Shop. "They'll be back once it's more convenient for them to access our store."

What's stopping them is sidewalk repairs, streets resurfaced, and new crosswalks being built.

In addition, streets now one way will become two way and lighting upgraded.

This is a $790,000 project. The cost is split between the city and the state.

"We want to get it out of the way," says Stephens. "That way, anyone who comes to the arena is not going to have to dodge construction equipment or any of our people out here making final repairs to any of the work we do."

Businesses realize this is a temporary setback. They can see the financial light at the end of the tunnel.

"I think the new arena--once it opens up--will actually increase our business a lot," says Augsburger.

The infrastructure work should be finished by the end of September just as the new arena is getting ready to open.

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