Superior’s Tower Ave Re-Opened; its Effect on Local Businesses

North­ern Tower Avenue, which is the sec­tion of Tower Ave north of Belk­nap Street, went under con­struc­tion in April and re-opened Octo­ber 22.

Tower is con­sid­ered the busi­ness dis­trict of Supe­rior and many of the busi­nesses rely on walk-in cus­tomers. Before the con­struc­tion, the side­walks were brick in the closer part to Belk­nap and the rest was always dirty. It wasn’t often you saw many peo­ple walk­ing on that street dur­ing the day. The street is also home to many of Supe­ri­ors bars.

Globe News is at the cor­ner of Belk­nap and Tower. I asked if the con­struc­tion had affected their busi­ness. “Yes, def­i­nitely,” said owner Tom Unter­berger. “Absolutely neg­a­tive, A lot of the tourists couldn’t park any­where. Our reg­u­lars know you can park across the street, but tourists didn’t.”  Unter­berger hopes the new street will bring in my tourists.

Other busi­nesses with their own park­ing lots seemed to not be effected too neg­a­tively by the construction.

It didn’t really affect us,” said Dane Bushey, employee of Third Base bar.

Walk­ing on Tower on Octo­ber 22, it looked like more than half the busi­nesses had closed their doors. We can’t say why or how long these busi­nesses have been out of busi­ness but there are a depress­ing amount of empty shop win­dows. It seems that if busi­nesses had a park­ing lot, they did just fine, but if they relied on walk-in cus­tomers they didn’t do as well.

Denise Colzer at V.I.P Pizza thinks the con­struc­tion will bring more busi­ness to the street. “It looks beau­ti­ful.” Said Colzer

Tak­ing a  closer look the street still seems to require some minor improve­ments. Trees and other plants will be added in the spring. Benches will be added in the next few weeks, and Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions and lights have already been put up. Tower hosts large fes­tive snowflakes at the top of every light post.

Anna Lopel-Krueger at Eng­wall Wolffs Flower Shop said the con­struc­tion affected them as well “[the con­struc­tion] affected us a lit­tle bit but we are for­tu­nate enough that we have park­ing in the back and a back door our cus­tomers know to use. We kept the front door open as long as we could until we had a 16 foot hole at our front door.”

She also talked about how Supe­rior is bring­ing a face-lift to down-town, espe­cially doing what they can on their end to make busi­nesses look more pre­sentable. UWS Stu­dent Jim Kum­mer thinks North Tower resem­bles Canal Park and the down-town areas of other cities around the area.

Res­i­dents of Supe­rior say they are glad to see this heav­ily trav­eled street back open, and the local busi­nesses are too. This area already feels more like a down-town area that Supe­rior seems to have been needed.

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