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Phase 2 of the Diamond Drive Project is having a devasting impact on local businesses, say shopkeepers whose stores are directly impacted by the construction.
“We are concerned and we are scared,” said Jackie Beebe, who, together with husband Leonard, owns Hilltop Shopping Center at 3801 Arkansas Ave.
Ana Fukui and husband K Fukui, owners of Sushi Café, located in Suite G of the shopping center, said business is definitely down.
“We’ve owned our business for 10 years now and it’s become extremely difficult because business is so slow,” she said. “Customers only have a limited time for lunch and they tell us it’s taking seven minutes to drive through all the side streets to get to our restaurant.”
Ron Rivera, owner of Images hair salon in Suite F, expressed a similar concern.
“I’ve been in business here for 18 years,” Rivera said, who was born in Los Alamos and is currently accepting new clients. “This road work has slowed down my walk-in traffic and late night customers because people just want to get out of this mess and get home.”
The Hilltop Shopping Center’s store owners met with county staff to discuss the drop in customer traffic they’ve experienced since the Diamond Drive project moved into the Arkansas Avenue intersection area April 21.
Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman said Wednesday that the county is doing what it can to accommodate the needs of the retailers.
“We’ve changed traffic control for them to allow the left-hand turn,” Zimmerman said, and we have a detour set up for them with their individual names on the signs.”
While the county is attempting to help make traffic flow easier to get to the shopping center, Zimmerman said the road work has to be done and is expected to continue in the Arkansas Avenue area through October.
Beebe, who contacted the Monitor for help in publicizing the plight of the store owners said, “These people are special, wonderful people who have been here a long time. These are all mom-and-pop businesses and these people are struggling. This isn’t some big box thing – these people live in our community and they need our help.”
Beebe encourages community members to eat in the restaurants and shop in the stores at Hilltop Shopping Center as soon as possible to help keep the doors of these businesses open.
“We’re just begging for a little help,” Beebe said.
Hilltop Shopping Center businesses
BOB’S BODACIOUS BBQ
Lunch: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday
Dinner: 5-7 p.m. Monday
5-8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
Lunch: 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Dinner: 5-6:45 p.m.
6:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday
6:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday
7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday
8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Noon-5 p.m. Monday-Friday
and by appointment
Noon to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
and by appointment
11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday-Thursday
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday