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More construction downtown: How are local businesses being impacted?

The Fulton Improvement Project is moving to its second and final phase, causing lane restrictions on Capitol Boulevard downtown.
Posted at 5:29 PM, Nov 08, 2023

  • The Fulton Street Improvement projectis moving on to its second phase. The project is aimed to make Fulton St. from 9th to Capitol downtown better for pedestrians and business entrances.
  • The construction started around the same time Yeast & West opened downtown. The owner told Idaho News 6 about the challenges of running a business around construction. She is pleased with the overall project.

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Jennifer Hackwith is a new small business owner.

She opened Yeast & West Natural Bakery Downtown over the summer, with a focus on more natural baked goods, especially for people with food sensitivities.

"We need to enjoy food because that’s gotten to be a big problem with how we digest when we’re nervous about it, when we’re panicked that it’s going to hurt, when we’re worried that we’re not supposed to eat something, this takes a lot away from our enjoyment," Hackwith said.

Just days before her first day of business, she says she got new neighbors, Construction workers.

Hackwith told me opening a business is hard enough, but doing it as construction starts, makes it harder..

"Behind all the construction fences and so forth, we weren’t visible," Hackwith said. "Many customers have told us that, Many have said ‘Well I’ll drive around 3 times and maybe I’ll find something.”

Capital City Development Corporation has been working on their Fulton Street Improvement Project since the summer.

Working on the street between 9th and Capitol downtown.

The first part of the construction impacted the west part of those two blocks, now it’s on to the east.

Hackwith says it’s nice to become more visible in the neighborhood.

“we’re super excited as I mentioned to get to know our neighbors, and to let them think of this as their neighborhood bakery, so now it looks more like a neighborhood we can convince them of that," Hackwith said.

Hackwith says the construction in front of her business is just one part story, with several projects happening around Downtown.

CCDC told me in an email that pedestrians will still have access to Julia Davis Park, and the Library, and they are also communicating with local businesses to mitigate the impact of the traffic.

As the first phase is wrapping up, Hackwith says she’s happy with the early results.

“It’s beautiful," Hackwith said about the new street. "And I’ve appreciated watching, and there was days where this building would shake and there was lots of noise but I’ve definitely appreciated their attention to detail and the care they’ve taken… It’s turned out nice.”