For more than a week, State Street has been blocked off with a “Road Closed” sign between East Washington and Liberty Streets due to construction on a new CVS pharmacy in the area.
Though the CVS under construction is not in the exact area where the sign has been put in place, the street has been sectioned off to accommodate the equipment necessary to complete the construction.
Ralph Welton, chief development official for the city of Ann Arbor, said the closure is in part due to complicated construction necessary to preserve the front of the building, which could not be demolished, according to the plan agreement.
“Part of the plan agreement for bringing that store into that spot was that they had to maintain the façade … so they demolished the entire building except the face, and now they have to lift in the pre-cast concrete walls over the top of the façade,” Welton said.
Welton added that in order to properly lift the walls over the top of the building and maintain their structural integrity, the construction workers need to use a boom-crane. The crane, he said, will sit out on State Street, and the closure of the area is in the interest of public safety.
Ben Storey, manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, said the construction in the area has been a burden for the restaurant, which is next to the blocked-off street.
“It sucks,” Storey said, explaining that the street closure may discourage potential customers.
Storey said the construction, which spans the entire front side of the restaurant, makes it difficult for passersby to enter through the sidewalk that is closed from Monday through Friday. But, Storey said, for game days and wing connoisseurs, the construction will not likely be a problem.
“People with a taste for Buffalo Wild Wings are going to brave any type of weather or obstacle to get to their wings, their beer and their sports,” he said.
Cyndi Bertsos, one of the owners of Sava’s restaurant, said being located about 50 feet from the construction has had little effect on the restaurant.
“Customers are still great. I mean it hasn’t really affected us at all,” Bertsos said.
The closure of the State Street area could pose a potential problem for students living in the North Quadrangle Residence Hall who cut through the street to get to class.
However, LSA sophomore Jana Savagian, who is a resident of North Quad, said she hasn’t been bothered that much by the construction.
“I and pretty much everyone I know don’t use that entrance, unless we’re going to Chipotle,” Savagian said.