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Downtown Construction Concerns
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28 ) - You can hear the concrete saws screaming from across the street as you stand in front of the Dublin City Pub. The bar moved after the 2008 flood, struggled to survive in a new location and now finds itself in the shadow of the new Ground Transportation Center on First Street southeast. That 12-million dollar project will boast a modern facility that allows buses to park, load and pull out without ever backing up. But owners at the Dublin City Pub say parking is exactly whats thrown their business into reverse. The GTC construction has closed the street at times, shut down the sidewalk occasionally and now has claimed nearly 20 parking spaces right in front of the pub. Connie Mochal says they realized they might be inconvenienced but not this much. The street looks completely closed, people think were closed and Id say weve had at least a 25 percent loss in revenue if not more.
Owners of Dublin say they met with the construction company, but the builders really couldnt help with parking. They say they asked to use spots in a city lot behind the pub, but were told they would have to pay for those parking places. The owners now wonder out loud if businesses that survived the flood and struggled to come back are now being left in the dust by new construction. Mochal says its so frustrating to hear that regular customers are going to other establishments just because they cant find convenient parking.
Dave Elgin with Cedar Rapids Public Works says there really isnt any policy to compensate businesses for lost parking during a construction project. Jon Rouse with Park Cedar Rapids says short term there is a parking ramp pub customers can use about a half block away. Rouse says the best solution is when GTC construction is finished by December and parking spaces open up again. Mochal says that could be a long two months and even then Dublin faces challenges. We hope to make it through but the problem is it starts up again next spring and they start construction on our side of the street and all the parking spots are gone again and theres still no parking and that wont end until November 2014.
For now, Dublin owners will hope the city might find a way to help more on the parking dilemma and the pub plans to put out a sign to at least let everyone know its indeed open for business.