Business owners along Madison Avenue are concerned about how their livelihoods would be impacted by the proposed reconstruction of the road through downtown Greenwood.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission voted unanimously to give the final approval to placing about $24.5 million in plans on a list of approved projects which they can choose to fund at a later date.
That project list includes a reconstructed Madison Avenue from County Line to Smith Valley roads, a redeveloped Old City Park and a new connector road between Surina Way and Market Plaza.
Several residents and business owners brought their concerns and questions to the city’s redevelopment commission. Construction plans are being created for the first phase of the project — Madison Avenue from Noble to Pearl streets — and work on that section of the road could begin next year. Construction on other sections of Madison Avenue is several years off at the earliest, city officials said.
The worries from a trio of business owners: If the reconstruction would require the city to take any of their land and how customers would be able to get to and from their businesses during the work.
Redevelopment commission president Brent Tilson assured the property owners that their concerns about access to their businesses and whether the city would take any of their land would be addressed before any final plans for road construction are approved.
“Our goal is to develop businesses, not to harm them,” he said.
Scott Eanes, who owns Take Root Country Store at 202 N. Madison Ave., said his two concerns were whether the road project would encroach onto his property and how the construction would impact the ability of customers to get to his store.
He cited delays in the façade project that hampered businesses more than expected as an example of his concerns about what could happen on Madison Avenue.
The difference between the downtown facade project and the road reconstruction is that repairing century-old buildings has many more unknown factors than reconstructing a road, city attorney Krista Taggart said.
Bradley Campbell, who is part of a group of families that owns Vegas Nails & Spa at 1221 N. Madison Ave., said if they had known about the proposed road reconstruction when they purchased the property last year to open the business, they would have looked for another location.
If a major road projects takes place within several years of his business opening, he is worried the drop in customers could cause severe financial issues.
“If there is a detour, you stay away from there,” Campbell said. “You don’t want to deal with traffic. You don’t want to deal with detours.”
The city will be mindful of traffic issues on the section of Madison Avenue near County Line Road, Taggart said. Because of the traffic from the Greenwood Park Mall and and local businesses, the entire road won’t be closed at once, and customers would still have access to the parking lot at the spa.
Taggart emphasized that the the redevelopment commission hadn’t made any final decision on the majority of Madison Avenue yet. The redevelopment commission will need to vote to approve construction plans and approve funding those projects at a later date, and more details will be available then for residents and businesses affected by the project.
The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission is considering a reconstruction of Madison Avenue. The project was recently placed on a list of projects that are eligible to receive funding from the commission.
Where: Madison Avenue from Smith Valley Road to County Line Road
When: Work from Noble to Pearl streets could start next year.
Cost: $12.5 million estimate