Watch CBS News

Business impacts of Hennepin Avenue construction vary, depending on who you ask

Hennepin construction has slowed down Uptown business, but not as bad as originally thought
Hennepin construction has slowed down Uptown business, but not as bad as originally thought 02:27

MINNEAPOLIS — As construction crews move earth, digging up a crucial corridor for dozens of Uptown businesses, Robert Sorenson, owner of Bobby Beads, looks on, through all the machinery, dirt and dust.

"I've never actually experienced a reconstruction project of this intensity," said Sorenson.

Thankfully, the construction's impact on his business is not as bad as he worried it might be before construction started. 

"We are feeling pretty good. We had more business than we expected," said Sorenson.

The impacts vary depending on the day, and also depending on the weather.

RELATED NEWS: Parts of Minneapolis' Hennepin Avenue are now closed, leaving small business owners "terrified"

One thing is for sure, customers are getting their steps in.

"I've heard customers tell me they had to walk five blocks to get here," said Sorenson.

It's a different story next door at La Bodega Taco Bar.

Owner Alex Rosario said sales are half of what they were pre-construction. It also doesn't help that delivery drivers cancel when they decide it's too difficult to navigate the construction and get to his restaurant.

"This is not the way to boost businesses in Uptown," said Rosario.

Meanwhile, at Uncommon Grounds Coffee House, owner Dale Lee said they're on pretty steady ground.

"The hours have changed when people come by but for us, it's stayed pretty much the same," said Lee.

Lee sees all this construction mess as a short-term pain for a long-term gain, for a neighborhood looking to get back on its feet.

"The whole area, I think will look really slick and modern and I think it will make all the properties, it will set them off better," said Lee.

This is just the beginning phase of the project. Once this section is done, construction will begin to the north on Hennepin Avenue, between 26th and Douglas Avenue, beginning in 2025.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.