Halifax businesses struggling to stay open due to Argyle Street construction
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 7:45PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:13PM ADT
A Halifax business owner says regular sales are down nearly 50 per cent because of the ongoing construction on Argyle Street.
World Tea House owner Philip Holmans put out a call for help over social media on Tuesday, letting customers know the doors are still open – even if they're difficult to see.
He's been overwhelmed by the positive response from customers and other businesses, but still frustrated by the timing of the work.
“Tall Ships and Busker Festival with a brand new street, this would have been an amazing summer. And now it's going to be a horrible summer,” says Holmans.
Holamns’ business isn’t the only one frustrated. A group of eight business has started legal action against the city, the province and the Convention Centre Corporation, calling for financial compensation over the Nova Centre construction.
The case is currently before the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
Paul MacKinnon of the Downtown Halifax Business Commission says foot traffic is down an estimated 10 per cent from last year.
“There's no question that summertime is not the best time to do construction. Unfortunately, it's the only time to do construction,” says MacKinnon.
Argyle Street will be transformed into a pedestrian and cyclist-friendly streetscape. But in the meantime, the street appears to be completely shut down.
Accessibility advocate Gerry Post says the municipality has done a good job of mitigating the impact of all the sidewalk closures for people with mobility issues.
“It's a little bit difficult, (but) it is accessible,” Post says. “The reason I don't go there anymore is because it's not attractive.”
While Holmans agrees that the end result is exciting, he suggests the municipality consider ways to mitigate the financial cost to businesses.
“Maybe a system where you offer a low interest loan, partner up with a bank, help them with a few months' rent,” says Holmans.
In the meantime, he's just hoping the work wraps up quickly.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.