Downtown Business Owners Tough It Out During Construction

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Downtown business owners agree that revitalizing Kansas Avenue will inject excitement into downtown Topeka, but for now, some see the lengthy construction as a necessary evil.

For those who are enthusiastic about the Kansas Avenue revitalization project, the orange cones and closed street signs signify progress,but for business owners in the middle of it, there's another emotion.

Martin Munoz, the "Last Tuesday we were down $2,500. We need you out here we are all small businesses. Please come help.

"Let's get people down here, we don't need construction to be over for it to happen. We are all open and ready to do business right now," said the owner of The Break Room and Field of Greens, Chris Schultz.

City officials say that phase one of the $4.9 million dollar revitalization project is still on schedule, with the east side of Kansas Avenue between 6th and 10th to be completed in November, providing the green light for phase two on the west side in April.

Schultz said, "Everyone is feeling the hurt of the inconvenience that the construction is having, but looking at the big picture, we are excited about what's to come."

Social media posts and specials have helped Lupita's battle back, and they believe the current detours will lead to a final product worth the wait.

"I think it's going to allow us to have events that Topeka has never seen before and that excites us," said Munoz

Schultz said, "How could we go wrong? We have the beautiful Capitol that draws in spectators and now when people drive through, they will see a city that cares, because we do."

Parking is available for free during construction any time of day at the Crosby Place parking garage at 108 Southwest 8th Street, and the 9th Street garage at 215 Southeast 9th Street, by asking any downtown merchant for a 2 hour parking voucher.