Nov 14, 2012 1:19 PM by Ryan Haarer
TUCSON - It's been a long time coming, but downtown is beginning to see major growth. It's a positive sign for downtown shops who've endured months of lost business as a result of streetcar construction.
"It's definitely a deterrent from coming down here," said Rebecca Hammen, cashier at Sparkroot coffee.
The construction is just too much for some to deal with.
"I want to come back more to downtown, but until construction moves out, I won't come down for social time," said Jennifer Nunn, who used to work downtown.
Streetcar construction will continue for several months, but the first ride is expected to happen in about a year. As construction goes into its final stages buildings are going up and businesses are moving in.
"We have seen over 140 businesses come downtown over a five-year period. We've seen over $208 million of private investment. We've got four housing projects going up, apartment units going up, office buildings going up. I mean it's incredible! We have four more restaurants coming in the next four weeks," said Michael Keith, CEO of the Downtown Tucson Partnership.
Keith says this development downtown is just the tip of the iceberg. His eyes are set on the west side of town where there is potential for 30 acres of development.