Construction on Dexter Avenue Slowing Business For Some


By Alabama News Network

You may have noticed some construction in downtown Montgomery on Dexter Avenue. It's all a part of the city's efforts to revitalize the historic street.

But some business owners say the current construction is not only an eyesore, it's taking away from their business.

Hamp Russell has owned City Drug since 1986. He says the current construction on Dexter Avenue has eliminated parking, making it difficult for customers to find a spot.

"Right now they're having to park across the street and walk," he says. "And some of them are elderly and for some of them, it presents a problem."

Jessie Grant is one of those customers. He says although he admires the efforts to revitalize Dexter, he admits there are some downsides.

"It's a mess," he says. "A little inconvenient but you know, we have to do what we have to do."

Other businesses are also taking a hit. Eddie Smith is a seamstress at Looking Good, Men's High Style. She says the lack of parking is a big problem.

"Now we have to park on the side of the building, if we can get a parking spot."

What's worse, she says because of the construction, some customers don't even know if they're open.

"A guy asked me today were we closed...I said I'm still open."

It's a question Russell too has had to answer.

"Anytime you see the gates up and things like that, they think that you're closed," he says. "But we're here and we're open."

Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange says he believes the final product will be worth the inconveniences.

"The best thing I can say is pardon our progress. Parking is across the street. We're only doing one side. Any time that you try to take a step forward, there is going to be an inconvenience."

But he says in the meantime, he wants to urge residents to continue to shop on Dexter Avenue.

"We hope that people will bare with us and make a special effort to patronize those shops that are in the way of the construction."



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