It’s been about a month since work started on Old Lebanon Road in Donelson Plaza, an area that will soon be a walkable town center anchored by a two-story library.
But as stormwater pipes and other infrastructure go in, businesses nearby like Rick’s Comic City say they’re suffering due to road closures and barriers being put up.
“We’ve lost a lot of sales,” said Richard Parman, owner of Rick’s Comic City.
“We’ve lost a lot of potential traffic. Our walk-in traffic is down.”
Parman says sales have been up and down and he’s seen as much as a 20-30% dip in sales since work started in May.
“It’s been tight,” he said. “We’ve had people ask if we’re open.”
A few doors down, business has been even slower at Ericka’s Tailoring where sales have dropped about 80%.
“It’s very frustrating,” said owner Margarita Rodriguez. “Now, it’s very slow. I barely have customers.”
Rodriguez says she typically pulls in $1,200-$1,500 a day, but lately, sales have been much lower.
“Now it’s $500, $400,” Rodriguez said.
According to the Donelson Plaza website, construction on Old Lebanon Road will last through mid-August.
Metro Councilman Jeff Syracuse says he empathizes with business owners. He gave this statement to News 2:
“This is a short term inconvenience for long term gain and will bring them more customers in the end.”
Until construction is over, Parman says he’s trying to keep a positive attitude.
“I also look at it as it’s temporary in the long run,” Rodriguez said.