Posted: Dec 22, 2010 6:55 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Updated: Dec 22, 2010 7:04 PM
Streetscape project continues Downtown and is hurting several local businesses.
"Frustration is the least of my worries, I have to worry about paying bills," said Gil Guillory, owner of Rivals Sports Grill in Downtown Lafayette.
Rivals Sports Grill has only been open for two months. Business was thriving, but now they are afraid the construction taking place is hurting their business.
"It has affected about 60% of our walk-ins and lunch crowd which is big for Downtown," said Guillory.
Because of the slow lunch hours, Guillory has had to cut back on staffing and be more aggressive with their deliveries.
In the heart of the construction on Jefferson are five business: Rivals Sports Grill, Keller's Bakery, Golden Cleaners, General Office Supply, and 232 Help.
The problem isn't necessarily the construction, but the fact many people don't know that these stores are still open for business.
Since you can't really drive through Jefferson---cars need to park over at Whitney Bank, accessible from Caillouet Place.
Kenneth Keller of Keller's Bakery believes the walk-in business has been slow because people don't know where to go.
"People haven't gotten used to the re-routing of traffic, but the Downtown Development Authority has been putting signs up to show people where to park," said Keller.
For non-profit organization 232 Help--nothing has really changed. They don't normally rely on walk-ins.
"It hasn't been really bad for us. Our neighbors here on Jefferson have had more of a problem because they rely on walk-ins," said Maria Placer of 232 Help.
The construction is expected to last about 5-6 months, but the Downtown Development Authority believes the end result will be worth it
"You just have to travel downtown to Jefferson Street to see that once this piece has ended it will create the right entry-way for the Downtown area," said Cathy Webre of Downtown Development Authority.