But the project has led to some challenges for those who make a habit of coming to the area.
Seth Gravelyn said the construction work has made it more difficult to dine at Morning Star Café, 711 Washington Ave.
“It’s super annoying,” said Gravelyn, who had just finished parking his car. “There were no spots, so we had to drive all the way around (the block).”
The construction project is bringing utility and streetscape improvements on Washington Avenue between Beacon Boulevard and Seventh Street.
Due to construction, through-traffic isn’t allowed on Washington. Detours have been posted, and public parking lots are accessible from Franklin, Columbus and Seventh streets.
City officials say they want to maintain traffic at Eighth Street and at Washington and Seventh as much as possible during the project. Grand Haven Downtown Development Authority Director Diane Larkin said she’ll use social media to spread the word about detours and Centertown being open.
As the weather improves, Larkin hopes more people get out and walk to do business in the district.
“I haven’t gotten any feedback yet from businesses yet personally, (but) we’re keeping a very close eye and doing what we can to drive traffic to Centertown businesses,” she said.
Larkin added that she’s told business owners to ask employees to park farther from their workplace in order to keep prime parking spaces open for customers.
Local business owners and their employees say they are rolling with the punches that the project brings.
“We actually, for us personally, have not had a huge change,” said Elijah Russ, a host at Morning Star Cafe. “A lot of people like to come in here.”
To read the whole story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.