Edgebrook business owners 'doomed' by drawn-out construction project

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A major construction project in Chicago's Edgebrook neighborhood is taking longer than expected. Business owners along the affected stretch of Devon Avenue said the construction is driving away customers.

"This is just too much of an impact on us," said Laura Guenther, owner of Local Goods Chicago.

Work replacing the nearly 100-year-old sewer main began in January with the expected completion date of November. But during digging last month, workers discovered a fiber optic cable that runs to Canada that needs to be moved that could push back the end date by a couple weeks.

"Our biggest month is December for the holiday shopping because we are a gift shop," Guenther said. "If we can't be all set by Thanksgiving, we are doomed."

Alderman Anthony Napolitano said he's aware of the short-term economic impact.

"We are going to try to get every single business that's affected in that corridor on a flier that we are going to send out to every resident in the area to come out and shop locally," he said.

Joanne Nusbaum owns consignment shop My Sister's Closet in the area and said her store is taking inspiration from the construction workers, hoping to draw in shoppers.

"We decided to embrace construction and we made our window 'caution' and 'detour' and all over our clothes are the color of construction," she said.

Devon Avenue will be closed to traffic September 1 for a street party to support local businesses.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.