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Business owner says Walnut Street construction hurts business

short street parking garage
Chris Gothner

Columbia’s new Short Street parking garage opened this Tuesday, but workers are still constructing nearby buildings.

Courtney Hawk, the owner of The Mud Room, a pottery studio located across the street from the garage, said the construction in and around the garage has made it difficult for customers to access her business.

“People couldn’t make it in, customers complained about how difficult it was to get here,” Hawk said.

Tanner Morrell, a parking supervisor with the city, says the city is supposed to inform businesses around a construction site.

“They have to go around to a certain percentage of the businesses, and they have to let them know their intentions and what their timeline is,” Morrell said.

But Hawk said the city did not reach out to her about the construction, which she said has hurt business. She said she wishes they would have so she could have been better prepared for its impact.

“It would have been nice to know what days those roads would have been closed, how long that construction was going to go on, a little heads up about it so we could have promoted or warned customers in some way,” Hawk said. 

A hotel being built next to the garage is expected to open in the spring. City officials were unable to say whether construction will continue around Walnut Street after the opening. 

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