Business owners say London's Dundas Place construction will be worth the wait

The finishing touches are being applied to the first part of London’s Dundas Place flex street, while construction is in “full swing” for Phase 2 of the project.

Jim Yanchula, the city’s manager of downtown projects, tells Global News Radio 980 CFPL that Londoners can expect to see concrete polishing, tree planting and other “odds and ends” being wrapped up between Richmond and Talbot streets.

This sign, updated daily, provides pedestrians with a guide to where sidewalks are available throughout the Dundas Place construction zone.

This sign, updated daily, provides pedestrians with a guide to where sidewalks are available throughout the Dundas Place construction zone.

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

“It’ll be over the course of the next few weeks, but the disruption to travel won’t be there this month, it’ll be starting next month. We’ll have to do some road closures for the bigger things,” he explained.


READ MORE:
City of London warns of lane closure along Wellington Street as Dundas Place construction continues

The noisy process of sandblasting concrete, he assures residents, will be limited to between 2 p.m. and midnight.

Meanwhile, construction is fully underway along Dundas Street between Richmond and Wellington streets.

The area is still open to foot traffic, and while some business owners are reporting a slight drop in customers, most believe the payoff from the city’s first flex street will be worth it.

Troy Hutchison, owner of Grooves Records

Troy Hutchison, owner of Grooves Records

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

“So far, we haven’t really noticed much of a difference at all, thankfully,” said Troy Hutchison, owner of Grooves Records.

“First two days of construction, business dropped off; third day, it was back to normal, and it’s been normal ever since.”

Christopher Runciman, manager for Heroes Comics

Christopher Runciman, manager for Heroes Comics

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

Christopher Runciman, manager of Heroes Comics, says the comic book store draws a particular clientele who aren’t deterred by the fencing, dust or loud noise.

And he’s already pleased by the results of Phase 1.

“The results are amazing, and what it’s going to do for downtown is amazing and how it’s going to put a real new face and a new stamp on our downtown core for us to be proud of,” he said. “There’s already all kinds of construction and developmental change on a number of properties (in the area).”


READ MORE:
London’s Dundas Place opens from Ridout to Richmond, Phase 1 complete

But Yunis Alahi, owner of Fine Art Custom Framing, has a different take.

“I’m not really happy with it,” he said. Alahi wishes construction would take place 24 hours a day, seven days a week so that Dundas Street would be reopened faster.

“Hopefully, it’ll get done soon.”

Over at Rebel Remedy, co-owner Julie Kortekaas says she was long aware there would be significant construction taking place on their front doorstep.

Julie Kortekaas, co-owner of Rebel Remedy

Julie Kortekaas, co-owner of Rebel Remedy

Andrew Graham / 980 CFPL

“We’ve known since we signed our lease several years ago that this construction was happening,” she said.

“It’s going to be so beautiful once it’s done. Dundas Place will be a destination for people, for shoppers, for people looking for entertainment as well as street festivals in the coming summers.”

—With files from Global News Radio 980 CFPL’s Andrew Graham

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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