Now Reading
Workshop offers businesses tips to prepare for streetcar project
local

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Workshop offers businesses tips to prepare for streetcar project

Construction slated to begin in Jan. on line running from UA to west of I-10

  • The streetcar line section that runs by the I-10 and the west end
    Tucsonstreetcar.comThe streetcar line section that runs by the I-10 and the west end
  • The streetcar line section that runs downtown
    Tucsonstreetcar.comThe streetcar line section that runs downtown
  • The streetcar line section that runs through 4th Avenue and University Boulevard
    Tucsonstreetcar.comThe streetcar line section that runs through 4th Avenue and University Boulevard
  • The streetcar line section that runs through the University of Arizona and Arizona Health Sciences Center
    Tucsonstreetcar.comThe streetcar line section that runs through the University of Arizona and Arizona Health Sciences Center

Business and business property owners along the route of a planned streetcar that will run from the University of Arizona through downtown can learn what to expect from construction at a workshop Wednesday.

The $196.8-million Tucson Modern Streetcar system will operate along a 3.9 mile route that runs from the Arizona Heath Sciences Center/University of Arizona campus, through Fourth Avenue and downtown, and to the Mercado District west of Interstate 10.  The project is managed by the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority.

The two-hour workshop, starting with networking and coffee at 8 a.m., will describe what people can expect and how to prepare for the time when the area is under construction. 

"Our goals are to answer questions, pump them up, focus them on that which they have the ability to control, and get them geared up to make a change in their business," said Britton Dornquast, the program manager for the MainStreet business assistance program.

The first part of the workshop will address frequently asked questions about the construction. Business owners will then learn how to prepare for the construction.

The next part will focus on tips for business owners to make things easier for customers and how to deal with those who may be unhappy during the process. They will then be given 16 tips on how to work with the media so the construction project is seen as positive.

There are 300 businesses on the streetcar's main route, as well as 900 businesses within in a quarter mile radius of the main line.

The construction, which is slated to begin in January, is expected to last 14 to 17 months, according to Dornquast. He projects the construction time will break down to about one month per block, but utility issues could slow the process.

Arlene Leaf, owner of Tucson Thrift Shop on Fourth Avenue, has mixed feelings about the streetcar because her shop is along the main line. 

"There's a part of me that's excited and another part of me that wonders about the physical vibration that it will cause on the avenue with my building and how it would affect the other older buildings," Leaf said.

Dornquast and other program coordinators hope to ease those fears during the workshop and get businesses owners excited about the project and the future of the streetcar. 

"We are trying to give the businesses tips and skills that can go beyond this after the project is done," said Dornquast.

Kade Mislinski, owner of HUB Restaurant and Creamery in downtown Tucson, is believes the streetcar will be beneficial.

"I don't have any big fears, we are very optimistic about it. We have to go through the construction to get the rewards of the streetcar," Mislinski said. 

The workshop is geared for businesses, however, there will be future streetcar events open to the public.

— 30 —

Best in Internet Exploder