EDINA, Minn. (KMSP) - The 50th & France area of Edina, Minnesota is known for its unique restaurants and shops. But as an ambitious construction project continues to detour traffic, business owners are facing new challenges.
Spalon Montage is a popular spot for people to get their hair and nails done, but workers say business is down about 15 percent due to the projects next door.
"I think change is hard for everyone; when you are used to coming in and getting the spot you always get… the parking lot is gone one day. It’s just readjusting," said Jolene Morgan, Chief Experience Officer with Spalon Montage.
According to their website, the project will expand the downtown area, provide more parking and retail and offer new housing arranged around a series of pedestrian-ways and outdoor plazas. The north parking ramp is expanding while the central ramp was torn down to build 100 luxury apartments called Nolan Mains. The north ramp is expected to be finished in October.
Four businesses have closed since construction started in January, while some others are seeing a drop in foot traffic because some customers are staying away from the congestion and dust from the construction zone.
"There are times when I'm sure there is a frustration that it may be too overwhelming, but we try to keep it positive for them," Morgan said.
The city is offering free valet service to help shoppers who have a hard time finding a place to park. It has also put up plenty of signs to direct drivers to detours, and hired a liaison to hear business owners' concerns.
"We really believe this project is going to help revitalize this area and make it more relevant and actually feed more business into the local community," said Shelly Loberg with Explore Edina.
When it’s finished in the fall of next year, Nolan Mains will also have stores, underground parking and a plaza.
In the meantime, some businesses say they'll make the best of the growing pains.
"Especially in the summer, it’s going to be a walking sort of retail area. It’s nice out, people will explore. We just have to get there, that's the main thing," Morgan said.