By John Hubbuch
If the South Marion restreeting project was a battle, then the merchants are definitely losing. Walking around the area is pretty eye-opening:chest high barricades, streets down to the dirt and lots of noise. I'm sure many people will just stop coming within a half mile of the whole area. Marion Street's loss will no doubt be the Avenue District, Harrison Street and Oak Park /Eisenhower's gain.
I feel bad for the poor merchants. Their revenues and profits plummet , and they will lose some customers forever, but their rent will stay the same. And when the project is finally done, the enhanced attractiveness of the streetscape will permit the landlords to raise rents. The current tenants with the increased rent and losses occasioned by the construction won't be able to afford the new higher rent, and may have to move.
Thank you,sir. I'll have another.