Relief for Sussex Drive merchants

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/11/01/15910181.html

After months of being a mud pit, Sussex Drive is finally being paved and merchants are happy to see an end in sight.

“We’ve had a terrible loss here — 30-40% drop over the past year,” said Martha Kunst, owner of Poised boutique. “Everybody’s really frustrated … we’re fed up.”

The store has been located on Sussex for five years and sells women’s clothing. Last April, Kunst opened Envied boutique, a few doors away.

“It hasn’t been easy,” Kunst said.

Just a block north at the corner of Sussex and York, Stephen Beckta owns Play Food & Wine. He says luckily, business is down by just 5-10%.

“Because our entrance is on York Street, a lot of our guests have found other ways to get here than trying to traipse through the muddy, sticky, Sussex Drive.”

Beckta says retailers often have walk-in customers, and that’s where he has an advantage.

“There isn’t that walk-by traffic that you would expect on Ottawa’s premiere shopping street of Sussex Drive … We’re a place that people plan to come to in a lot of cases.”

Construction began a year ago and is slated for completion by month end. Ryan Welsh is the site constructor with Stantec Consulting and says one stretch of the road on the west side isn’t finished.

“We still have some granite curbs and concrete gutter going in there. Once that goes in, then we’re able to finish up the road and get everything on asphalt, get the road opened back up by Christmas time.”

After months of being a mud pit, Sussex Drive is finally being paved and merchants are happy to see an end in sight.

“We’ve had a terrible loss here — 30-40% drop over the past year,” said Martha Kunst, owner of Poised boutique. “Everybody’s really frustrated … we’re fed up.”

The store has been located on Sussex for five years and sells women’s clothing. Last April, Kunst opened Envied boutique, a few doors away.

“It hasn’t been easy,” Kunst said.

Just a block north at the corner of Sussex and York, Stephen Beckta owns Play Food & Wine. He says luckily, business is down by just 5-10%.

“Because our entrance is on York Street, a lot of our guests have found other ways to get here than trying to traipse through the muddy, sticky, Sussex Drive.”

Beckta says retailers often have walk-in customers, and that’s where he has an advantage.

“There isn’t that walk-by traffic that you would expect on Ottawa’s premiere shopping street of Sussex Drive … We’re a place that people plan to come to in a lot of cases.”

Construction began a year ago and is slated for completion by month end. Ryan Welsh is the site constructor with Stantec Consulting and says one stretch of the road on the west side isn’t finished.

“We still have some granite curbs and concrete gutter going in there. Once that goes in, then we’re able to finish up the road and get everything on asphalt, get the road opened back up by Christmas time.”

kelly.roche@sunmedia.ca

http://www.ottawasun.com/news/ottawa/2010/11/01/15910181.html

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