After streetcar construction, business owners hope for boost from 4th Ave. Street Fair
Just in time for the Winter Street Fair, storeowners hope to welcome a return in business, following the completion of streetcar construction on Fourth Avenue.
“This street fair, we’re looking at it as Fourth Ave. is once again open for business,” said Kurt Tallis, events and marketing director for the Fourth Avenue Merchants Association. “It’s Tucson’s favorite street. It’s the street of dreams.”
According to the Tucson streetcar website, Fourth Avenue, between Seventh and Ninth streets, is now open.
Construction was completed at three p.m. Wednesday, which Tallis said was, “definitely cutting it pretty close.”
However, the streetcar construction manager said he was not surprised.
“We knew we would get it done,” said Jesse Gutierrez, the project’s construction manager. “We had encountered different obstacles and different circumstances. But we knew it was going to be done. It’s a huge deal for everybody.”
According to Gutierrez, whose office is located on Fourth Avenue, workers were there all day, and late into the evening in order to complete the road for the street fair.
Local merchants along Fourth Avenue look forward to the street fair as a way to let patrons know that the street is back open for business.
“We love to have the street fair,” said Kate Randall, co-owner of Antigone Bookstore. “It’s great for the stores and great for the avenue. We’ve had a pretty terrible year since construction began.”
Construction for the Sun Link Tucson Modern Streetcar began eight months ago and is set to finish in July 2013.
Although construction in front of Randall’s store ended mid-October, she said it has still been frustrating, and that many people don’t know that the construction has been completed on Fourth Avenue.
“When the street fair is here, Randall said, “it will be a celebration for the streets reopening.”