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Construction Project In Clearwater Causes Issues For Business Owners

CLEARWATER, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - An extensive construction project in Clearwater is causing many issues for business owners and customers in the area.

Cleveland Street near Gulf to Bay Boulevard is undergoing a beautification update and many business owners are frustrated with how long the project is taking.

On the inside of PJ's Auto World, you will see beautiful vintage cars...but if you look through the window, things look very different.

"The driveways are blocked with a mound of Earth. I've had at least one driveway blocked on several occasions," said Bill Grant, manager of PJ's Auto World.

It's all because of a beatification and utility replacement project that started last July along Cleveland Street in St. Pete and is expected to continue through March 2023.

Catherine Corcoran, landscape architect for the project says "We're hoping that this stimulates a lot of economic activity, that it draws more people into the area. Everybody tries to spend time in prettier spaces."

"It's kind of frustrating to know that we are going to be putting up with this for over another year," said Grant.

Grant says the construction is causing issues for customers.

"They don't know where to park and it's caused a little bit of an issue for a lot of our regular customers who come to see us, particularly the snowbirds," said Grant.

He's also seen a decline in business.

"People ducking their head in, 'Are you open?' because they don't even believe we are even open for business and we are six days a week," said Grant.

But that's not the only is the dust and dirt from the construction.

"At this point in time, we don't have the air conditioning on, we don't need it, so we rely on the doors being open, and as a result, the inventory is constantly being covering with dust," said Grant.

He's now having to clean the cars up to four times a week. While he understands the end result from the project could bring more customers to the area, grant says the next year will be challenging.

"We realize there has to be progress made, improvements made but we are trying to deal with it as best we can and we hope our customers can come in and be patient with us," said Grant.

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