14 Street construction causing some Calgary businesses to close their doors

Construction on Calgary’s 14 Street hitting local business owners hard
WATCH: The Southwest BRT construction isn't set to wrap up until fall of 2019 and some business owners have concerns as it's made access to Glenmore Landing a challenge. As Jenna Freeman reports, some have closed their doors.

The end is in sight for the construction that has tied up 14 Street S.W. for almost two years and for some businesses in the Glenmore Landing shopping mall, it can’t come soon enough.

Betty Jacobs is the owner of Ducks Fashion and said at the start, the impact didn’t seem too bad.

After a year though, Jacobs said customers not being able to access the mall from 14 Street has been tough, and that’s on top of what’s already a hard time for small business owners.

“It’s also the economy. I’m not blaming everything on the construction,” she explained. “But it’s another hit. I mean, how many hits can you take?”

READ MORE: Small businesses in Calgary join call for cities to compensate for revenue lost to construction

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Jacobs said she would have liked to see the city try to keep the access from 14 Street open while work carried on rather than parking construction vehicles in the entrance.

“I still think the city could be doing a lot more to lessen the impact of getting to our mall,” Jacobs said.

Parvaneh Vejdani has owned Gypsy Rose Florist for more than a decade.

Vejdani said she’s grateful she also has a delivery service as the number of walk-in customers has rapidly decreased since construction started. She added some businesses in the mall have even closed their doors.

“They couldn’t afford it anymore,” the florist said. “The rent keeps going higher, taxes go higher and products go higher, so they can’t make it.”

The construction work along 14 Street is part of the Southwest BRT transit expansion that will service southwest areas of the city.

READ MORE: Some 17 Avenue shops go under while others bounce back post-construction

City officials said they are sympathetic to business owners and pointed out the construction in that area should be wrapped by October.

Michael Cox with the City of Calgary said that unfortunately, in order for crews to complete the planned underpass at the intersection of 90 Avenue, the construction vehicles have to park at the mall entrance.

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Both Jacobs and Vejdani are prepared for some more tough months ahead and can only be hopeful that the outcome of the construction will be worth a major hit to their bottom line.

“In 13 years, 2018 was the worst and we don’t know what 2019 is going to bring,” Vejdani said.

The project is expected to be complete by the end of the year.