New construction project may force some Seaside businesses to close

SEASIDE, Calif. - Usually Mariscos Puerto Nuevo in Seaside on Broadway Avenue is bustling with business on the weekends.

"Busy, people waiting for a table,” said Maria Cruz with Mariscos Puerto Nuevo. “Always, all day busy."

Sentiments also echoed by the Sportsmen Club, but construction for the West Broadway Urban Village is causing concern. Businesses say profits have dropped 50 to 70 percent. 

"You can't turn onto Broadway so people just skip us," said Patty Thompson with Sportsmen Club.

Some customers said the detours and slim to non parking caused by the construction is just too time consuming and too much of a hassle. 

"Sometimes we say why don't we go to Monterey or different stores because it's hard to come over here,” said Veronica Cardenas of Monterey. 

Seaside economic developers told KION the West Broadway Urban Village Project will give a face lift to 43 acres in the Central Business District. Improvements include streetscape and intersection improvements, pedestrian and bicycle amenities, and upgrades to public utilities.

"We'll have new bicycle lanes so bicycle traffic can be safe for down here,” said City of Seaside Economic Development Program Manager Gloria Stearns. “The sidewalks are going to expand 15 feet and the reason that that's important is because we can suddenly have outdoor dining."

City officials said the construction is much needed to strengthen Seaside economically, socially and recreationally.

"With people seeing that we're investing, some people are choosing to come here,” said Stearns. “We're seeing a lot of plans and talking to them about how they want to invest in the city."

Businesses told KION they believe the new makeover will be good for the downtown, but they don't know if they'll be able to stick around to see its completion.

"I don't think enough consideration was given to small business owners,” said Bobby Smith with Sportsmen Club. “I don't know if they can last through the construction."

Some of the shops said they’ve filed a claim with the City of Seaside for reimbursement of lost profits, some are considering shutting down, and have had to dip into their savings to pay the rent.

"The construction workers, it doesn't look like their working full time,” said Smith. “It could be done quicker."

"I don't see any help or support from the city,” said Cruz. 

The city said its doing some advertising to remind people that Broadway is still open, and is also offering businesses free consulting services.

"If people shop locally that will help support our businesses through this crunch time," said Stearns.

Construction for the project is expected to finish next summer. 

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