Juicing up Jibboom
August 4, 2004
Construction crews are preparing Jibboom Street for a transformation that neighboring business owners hope will attract more shoppers to the lightly traveled section of downtown.Workers will complete a retaining wall this summer that will make room for three new retail and office buildings and the re-construction of the old motel on the corner of Jibboom and Bridge streets.
The project was approved by the town council in December of last year, and could be completed as early as next year.”It’s finally, maybe, going to bring some business to this back street,” said Dave Giacomini of neighboring Sierra Mountain Mortgage.
While neighboring business owners know that the project could add to the parking crunch in the area, they are also pleased to know that the project will add sidewalks, re-construct the old motel which has become an eyesore, and more than likely increase shopping traffic on street. The developer will also build 36 on-site parking spaces and improve 12 off-site parking slots.”Retail has failed on this street because there is no draw to bring people back here,” said Giacomini, who saw a neighboring retail store recently go out of business. “If you go on Commercial Row, people just don’t turn the corner.”
Giacomini said that sidewalks on the street and the removal of the old motel, will greatly improve the street’s attraction.The retaining wall and stabilization of the northern slope will be completed this year, with actual building likely beginning next summer, said Steve Isbell, general contractor for the project.John McManus, owner of the property, is also beginning another project in town, the restoration of the Chinese Herb Shop at the corner of Brockway Road and Southeast River Street.