Streetscape Project Threatens Local Businesses Again

Downtown Nicholasville
Main Street, Nicholasville, Ky.
This post was originally published yesterday on ProgressLex.

Lexington’s South Limestone Street is truly beautiful. The work done to revitalize that gateway into downtown Lexington put the utilities underground, improved the sidewalks and streetscape and completed some necessary underground storm sewer work. But the improvements came at a great cost as many locally-owned businesses struggled to survive (some failed) during a construction process that lasted much longer than projected.

I am confident that Nicholasville’s Main Street will be equally as beautiful once its streetscape project is complete. But in a small town without a college next door, it may take longer for the local businesses affected by the construction to rebound.

The project engineers, CDP Engineers, originally suggested that construction would be coordinated to “minimize the overall effect to the downtown businesses unlike … the S. Limestone Project in Lexington where the entire street will be closed for up to a year.” Now, six months after work began, the project is less than 50% complete.

At a meeting on March 21, a representative from CDP Engineers reminded those gathered at a public informational meeting that the stated goal of the revitalization project was to bring “urban life [to] downtown Nicholasville.” One of downtown Nicholasville’s finest “urban” assets was the Main & Maple Coffee Shop – a community gathering place, that closed its doors on March 18. Other businesses have shuttered as a result, at least in part, due to the ongoing construction.

But in Nicholasville, gems remain. The Alternative Jewelry Shop creates beautiful, one-of-a-kind fine jewelry. Euro is a tapas bar which turns out excellent tastes and even more excellent drinks. These locally-owned businesses (and others) have survived the first six months of construction only to face a still-uncertain construction timetable.

Remember supporting the South Limestone businesses when they faced a similar situation? Now is the time to come to Nicholasville and support its fantastic locally-owned businesses.