Stalled Hub revamp weighs on businesses

The stalled revamp of Roberto Clemente Plaza in the Hub is troubling area businesses, advocates say.



"A year of slow business is one thing," says Michael Brady, the executive director of the Hub Third Avenue Business Improvement District. "Four years of slow business is something completely different."



Brady says the situation forced four businesses on Willis Avenue to close.



Jay Slim, manager of Ness Sportswear on Third Avenue, says the ongoing, stagnant construction project blocks customer parking in front of his store.



"To be honest, we're losing a lot of customers," he says.



The city Department of Design and Construction says work has been delayed because, among other complications, the contractor filed for bankruptcy. The Department of Transportation has also been involved in meetings on mitigating the impact on traffic -- which often stretches for blocks around the site.



Brady says stakeholders did not know the work would be such an undertaking.



"I think letting people know it was part of a larger infrastructure project would have been more appropriate for the community," he says.


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