Jackhammer time: Businesses get by despite redevelopment construction | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Jackhammer time: Businesses get by despite redevelopment construction

Susan Wood

The steady hum of trucks, beeping of loaders and rumbling of jackhammers has become a way of life for businesses on the periphery of the South Shore’s largest redevelopment project now under way.

The $410 million, three-year project has made Cedar Avenue grand central for utility work as crews scramble to dig up and reroute electrical, gas, sewer, cable and phone lines.

Despite the activity, many business owners and operators along Cedar and Poplar avenues are finding a way to deal with the hindrance – with some having less tolerance than others.

“This can’t be good for business,” a Federal Express driver said as he dropped off a package Tuesday to Charles Boldwyn, manager of The Block motel.

Boldwyn agreed, saying he’s made his presence known to work crews. They were digging up the street in front of his boutique motel for the younger set that afternoon.

There have been a few hiccups along the way such as the motel’s gas being shut down for 10 days. He also objected to a transformer going in front of the establishment. But the most disruptive aspect of construction-zone life comes at 7 a.m. when the work crews go about their business, he said. They schedule the work Monday through Friday.

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“Our guests don’t get up that early,” Boldwyn said.

Still, The Block will go about its business, hosting a hip hop concert Saturday night.

Down the street, Tyler Roberts of the Cedar Lodge has learned to tell his guests where to walk around the heavy equipment. One Sacramento couple checking into the lobby seemed baffled about where to go or park for their midweek getaway to Tahoe.

“It’s a bit of a hassle, but (crews) try to notify us when they’re working around the area,” he said. Roberts is grateful he hasn’t lost any parking in the process.

Misael Arellano, who runs a Super Taco stand at the intersection of Cedar and Poplar, said business has dropped off substantially. But he admits to being in a perfect location for convention center goers once the project gets off the ground. The complex calls for the facility as well as two condominium hotels managed by Vail Resorts, a greenbelt and retail space.

That’s worth enduring a construction zone, Big Pines Mountain House owner Luese Van Liere said.

Liere said she was happy the construction wouldn’t be going on for the South Shore’s Opening Day Lake Tahoe this weekend for reasons other than the possibility of a traffic mess near Stateline. Highway 50 will be closed to throw a block party.

“Maybe I’ll get more exposure,” the new lodge owner said. “I tend to look at the glass half full.”