Construction Nearly Over, Business Booming

For more than a year construction on Kemp Boulevard had business owners saying it was driving away customers.  Now, with most of the lanes open, it's no longer a headache for drivers and businesses.

The businesses we spoke with all say that once the road blocks were gone, they began seeing more money pour in and since then it's been as strong as ever.

"We had people calling us on the phone asking us how can I get to your store," said Victor Kocks, Co-Owner of Kocks Liquor.

Those calls were all too common.  It had Victor Kocks directing his customers away from barricades blocking his front entrance.

"They had to come into the rear entrances to get to us," said Kocks.

Still, some customers like Tim Estrada just avoided the business all together.

"I would go somewhere else because of the hassle that it created," said Estrada.

Kocks Liquor says they lost about 25 percent in revenue this past holiday season, and the story across the street at Great Neck Guitars is very similar.

"Approximately a week or two after the construction had started we noticed a slow-down in traffic and in sales," said Kelly Jackson, Manager of Great Neck Guitars.

For them the problem wasn't only getting into the store, but sometimes you couldn't even leave.

"They literally blocked off the access street beside us to where no one could leave or get in
for nearly an entire day," said Jackson.

Now that the cranes and barricades are gone, business has picked up.

"I noticed an increase in traffic and sales has picked back up a little bit," said Jackson.

"We've seen customers that we haven't seen in a year, especially the older customers that were afraid of the construction," said Kocks.

For Tim Estrada the inconvenience of choosing another liquor store was a dilemma that has since gone away.

"My loyalty is back again because it's so close to where I do live and without the construction
it's no hassle anymore," said Estrada.

Project manager Blaine Boswell says the contractor has until December to complete the construction.  Boswell expects they'll finish ahead of that deadline.

The construction along Kemp is an effort to enhance the city's water sewer systems.  It will keep dozens of homes out of the flood zone.