Revitalization projects hurt New Albany business

Louisville, Kentucky. (WAVE) – The New Albany Avenue Revitalization Project has begun.

The purpose of the project is to make Main Street safer for pedestrians and bring in new business. But for some business owners already there, it’s a headache.

Christian Johnson is the owner of the “weird store” on the high street.

Johnson said she was looking forward to the end of the project. Not just to see the end result, but because she says the project is hurting her business.

“Right now we’re in it, we’re just trying to reassess and start putting more stuff online at a time when people can’t walk to the store,” Johnson said. “It reduces our foot traffic.”

Johnson said work began a few months ago when water mains and other infrastructure were replaced.

Now the work is being done on the street and the shops are feeling the effects.

“I looked back and compared other years, and it was one of the worst summers we’ve had,” Johnson said. “Or the worst summer we’ve ever had. I just want to say, as far as summer goes, it’s been the worst summer.”

This includes the summer affected by COVID.

The store opened about four years ago and they’ve been on the high street for about two years.

Johnson said their business was just recovering from COVID, and random street closures made it hard for people to find and stop in stores.

“Typically, it’s all locked down and people can’t stop when they see our signs,” Johnson said. “Then trying to find a place to park in the maze of everything.”

Now they are shifting their attention from the streets to the Internet. They are using social media to reach their customers.

“That’s what we’re relying on now during construction, not foot traffic,” Johnson said.

Many High Street businesses, including Johnson, said they were excited about the completion of the project. They thought it would be great for the area. It’s just a matter of surviving until then.

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