Some Fulton Mall businesses seeing a drop in customers as construction continues

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The dirt is moving along the southern end of the Fulton Mall as crews transform the area back to a street, but not everyone is happy with the change. (KFSN)

Fresno's Fulton Mall has a much different look these days. The dirt is moving along the southern end of the Fulton Mall as crews transform the area back to a two-way street, but not everyone is happy with the change.

"Its been very hard. Too many detours and too much noise," said Arlene Baker, shopper.

Shoppers have had to deal with the maze of fences set up to make their way through the mall. Employees at China Express said it's been tough.

"I feel it slow down now," said Qiu Yue, China Express owner.

The owner estimates business has gone down 30-percent for her and others along this section of the mall.

"Our stores are closing earlier for the same reason, that after 3:00 p.m. it's empty out here. No people," said Wendy Lira, Tres Hermanos.

However, the Downtown Fresno Partnership said they've added signage to help people navigate the zone. They said the change will take some getting used to.

"The biggest thing for the businesses is, we didn't remove a street that was already there. So in terms of the walkability of getting to their business, it's still the same as it was before construction. It's just a smaller footprint that you walk on," said Aaron Blair, Downtown Fresno Partnership CEO.

To deal with parking they've also given each business free parking vouchers, which has helped some stores like Tres Hermanos.

"We'll give you up to four hours of parking. That's when they are like, okay, I'll take my time, and they go to the other stores and they keep purchasing stuff," said Lira.

Construction will continue in three phases along the mall.

"Crews will continue to work in different phases. The construction fence has to stay up to maintain safety," said Randall Morrison, Fulton Mall Reconstruction Project Manager.

Project managers said while crews are just a month into construction, everything is running on schedule.

The Fulton Mall is expected to be reconstructed and opened by spring of 2017.

A lot of the owners said they can't wait to see their businesses fully thrive once again.
Related Topics:
businessfulton mallconstructionfresnosmall businessFresno - Downtown
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