NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Business is down for store owners in Coney Island, who blame two separate construction projects.
They say the work is blocking customers from getting to their shops and they’ve had enough.
Frank Kozlowsky, the owner of Carousel Collision, has to park his customer’s new Honda outside right next to an ongoing construction project.
“There really is no room to leave it,” he said. “The last three, four weeks have been terrible.”
It’s a last resort for Kozlowsky, since his customer can’t pick it up while the construction project is going on. They have to wait until city workers leave for the day before they can do anything.
“They’re here to do their job, make their money, but they don’t really care,” he said.
He says for almost a year, city agencies have been working on projects along Neptune Avenue. A few weeks ago, National Grid started on another project in the same spot, which has made the last few weeks unbearable.
Access to his shop is now cut off during the day. His workers have to roll car parts through the construction site since delivery trucks can’t park by the shop, and foot traffic is down because sidewalks are closed.
“It’s definitely hurting the business when your normal walk-in customer, like the guy shopping on a Saturday who has a little fender bender, he can’t come in here,” he said.
Kozlowsky is not alone. The manager of the Bolla Market at the Mobil gas station next door says his bottom line is also suffering.
“They’ve been closing off our driveways. The customers can’t get in,” he said.
A spokesperson for National Grid said the “work is necessary to ensure safe and reliable infrastructure” and promised it will be done by the end of the month.
But that’s too long for Kozlowsky.
“The problem is that there’s two different jobs running concurrently. So they don’t even – it’s like the left and the right hand have no communication,” he said.
Resulting in hardship for the businessman and many others.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation is now trying to make things right. Officials say they plan to work with contractors to try and reduce the impact on local businesses.