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Revitalization project hurting New Albany business

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – The New Albany Main Street revitalization project has begun.

The purpose of the project is to make Main Street safer for pedestrians and bring in new businesses. But for some of the business owners already there, it’s been a headache.

Christian Johnson is the owner of the “Odd Shop” right on Main Street.

Johnson said she’s looking forward to the end of the project. Not only to see the final result, but because she said the project is hurting her business.

“Now that we’re in the midst of it, we’re kind of just trying to reassess and start putting more stuff online during the times that people can’t walk to the shop,” Johnson said. “It’s cut down on our foot traffic.”

Johnson said work started a few months ago when water lines and other infrastructure were replaced.

Now work on the street is being done, and the shop is feeling the effects.

“I’ve looked back and compared other years and this has been one of the worst summers that we’ve had,” Johnson said. “Or the worst summer we’ve ever had. I’m just going to say it, it’s been the worst summer as far as summers go.”

That’s including the summers affected by COVID.

The shop opened about four years ago, and they’ve been at the Main Street location for about two years.

Johnson said their business was just bouncing back from COVID, and the random street closures have made it hard for people to find and stop at the store.

“Normally, this has all been blocked off, and people haven’t been able to stop when they see our sign,” Johnson said. “And then trying to find somewhere to park in the maze of everything.”

Now they’re taking their focus off the street and putting it online. They’re using social media to reach their customers.

“That’s what we’re relying on right now during the construction, rather than foot traffic,” Johnson said.

Many Main Street businesses, including Johnson’s, said they are all excited for the project to finish. They think it’ll be great for the area. It’s just a matter of surviving until then.

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