Store owners say Cape ‘streetscape’ project is affecting business

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Jill Bacus is the owner of Ciao Wood Fired Pizza in Cape Coral.

“Our big saying is come and feel the love,” she said.

But what is normally a busy time of year for the Italian Restaurant is anything but.

“Usually I have a line all the way down my ramp,” Bacus said. “And unfortunately this season because of the construction I didn’t see it.”

Bacus says the 47th Streetscape construction project is killing her business.

“There’s been nights when we’ve opened up the door and we’ve had a couple of tables trickle in,” Bacus said.

But now, she says their profits are down 50 percent. And instead of full tables and happy customers, some are reaching out to complain.

“People reach out to you on social media saying oh my gosh we wanted to get to you but we couldn’t, we thought you were closed. Last thing you wanna hear,” Bacus said.

The street to the restaurant is open, but drivers have to go around the barricades. There are signs pointing customers in the right direction, but business owners say it’s too confusing, especially during peak season.

“We would’ve preferred it being done in July, August and September when we don’t have the tourists here to create a revenue,” Bacus said.

The nearly-$14 million project will improve roadway and pedestrian paths hoping to draw even more people and money to the Cape.

But in the meantime, business owners are left wondering how much longer they can put up with it right in front of their shops.

“If we had known it would affect us this way, we would’ve really have fought the council,” Bacus said.

A spokesperson for the project made these statements:

“Construction is picking up pace. Our crews are actively working on underground utility improvements in the project limits from Coronado Parkway to 9th Place, and have completed utility infrastructure improvements at the Coronado Parkway and SE 47th Terrace intersection. First we are installing the underground utility improvements, and then the streetscape improvements.

We encourage the community to visit or call (239) 676-3462 for any information about the project, traffic detours, businesses and where to park.

Construction is underway in segments, focusing construction in a few blocks at a time to minimize the impact to businesses along SE 47th Terrace.

We want to do everything we can to support businesses on SE 47th Terrace and spread the word that they are open during construction.

We’ve set up business open signs, business entrance signs and banners with the names of each business at each block to broadcast that businesses are open during construction.

We’ve maintained SE 47th Terrace open to regular traffic as much as possible. While traffic detours are in place, customers can enter the construction zone to access any business, and flaggers are currently on site to help direct traffic during working hours.”

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