Construction on a massive new apartment building on Euclid Avenue has officially begun, but not without some concerns.
Local business owners are frustrated with how the city is handling the sidewalk and road closures related to construction. Euclid Avenue is temporarily closed this week for construction from East 6th to East Roadway.
The owners said they were originally told the sidewalk near their businesses would be closed for just a week, but were later told it would actually be 18 months. They said they are concerned the closure will hurt their bottom line.
Dominic Fanelli, the owner of Chocolate Bar, said he has mixed feelings.
“I believe in promoting Cleveland. We can do it for a week,” said Fanelli. “But 18 months? It's just not right.”
The Owner of Pizza 216 had similar concerns.
“Obviously, we're very excited to have new development coming into Cleveland, but the frustration at the meeting was the kind of a lack of information about how logistically we were going to make all this work,” said Johnny Lis, Co-Owner of Pizza 216.
The temporary closures are due to a crane, which will be placed on a parking garage on 515 Euclid Avenue where the new apartment tower is set to be built.
When pedestrians were asked whether or not the detours would affect their decision to visit their favorite restaurants, one Cleveland resident said it wouldn't bother him too much. Meanwhile, a Lakewood resident said he may start bringing his lunch to work to avoid the detours during the winter.
One lane of Euclid Avenue in each direction will reportedly reopen next week, but the sidewalks are expected to remain closed for at least 18 months.
These owners said they want the city to visit the idea of opening the sidewalks by building a scaffolding up. That way they can continue to get foot traffic.
Fanelli added that along with the detour signs, there should be signs letting folks know there are businesses still open, despite the lane closures.
“They promised us signage, not just for the Chocolate Bar, but for all the other businesses on the side of the street. Where is our signage?” he said. “That would be the neighborly thing to do.”
News 5 reached out to City Spokesperson Dan Williams for comment about how the city is addressing these concerns, but he declined to release any sort of official statement.