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biz300.jpg Submitted by WWAY on Tue, 01/06/2009 - 6:07pm.

Construction along downtown Wilmington's waterfront has been underway for two days now as workers are repairing a bulkhead, but some Water Street store owners aren't too happy about it. While the store owners were notified of the repairs, they say it's more extensive than they were told, and it's going to take business away from them. Store owners in the Brooks Building on Water Street were surprised to see the work out front when construction started. One store owner, Michael Dolan, said, "We didn't know the gravity of the construction project and we have no idea it was going to be this big." The store owners' main concern is there's now only one entrance to the building and it only has stairs. The construction got rid of a ramp that served as handicap and stroller access. Mike Naklicki is one of the project managers and said they are willing to work with the stores. ”The big thing was to make sure that this area was accessible to all pedestrian traffic. There were door flyers that went out to all the tenants of the building." But the tenants said the flyers didn't give the extent of the repairs. Poodle Lockhart, a downtown store owner said, "The fence that is in front of our building, we were not told that it was going to come all the way down the building." The store owners say owning a business in this economy is tough enough already, and need all the help they can get. Jordan Spencer, another store owner, said, "It's already been slow this year and with it being like this, we've seen one or two people today that have been in the store and it's supposed to go on for three months. I'm just scared we won't get enough traffic." The construction is expected to be done by the Azalea Festival in April. The project managers say these are urgent repairs and are asking for the store owners’ understanding.

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