Businesses negatively affected by clean-up from implosion of the old Jacksonville City Hall Annex

Local businesses hurt by demolition work

Caution tape lines the outside of a busy building downtown, three days after the city imploded the nearby old City Hall Annex building.

While the tape serves as a safety precaution, it's problematic for local businesses.

Action News Jax reporter Courtney Cole spoke to workers at one local restaurant who say the caution tape is driving their business away.

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"It's like a desert in here. You know what I mean? And that's not normal for us,” said Alex Carswell.

Carswell is the chef at D&G Deli and Grill on East Bay Street.

He told Cole they’ve been working in the Blackstone building for three years now and have worked hard to build up their clientele.

"Everybody knows us, we're good guys and we do good business. That's what keeps us running,” Carswell said.

But when the old City Hall Annex building came down on Sunday, Carswell said it took their business...with it!

"Right now, we're doing lunchtime and I'm doing an interview with you. Usually this is not possible. It's usually crowded at lunchtime,” Carswell told Action News Jax.

Carswell told Cole the shattered windows caused them to miss out on of their biggest days for business: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

“We might as well have closed our doors. Because business wasn't good that day. We're hurting off that. We look forward for these times of year because it's not a whole bunch going on in Jacksonville Downtown,” said Carswell.

The caution tape in front of the Blackstone has some regular and prospective customers wondering if they’re open for business at all.

Action News Jax saw Lee & Cate Glass working on the windows Wednesday afternoon.

They were installing temporary window coverings for the rain.

Cole reached out to the general manger of the Blackstone to find out when the windows will be permanently  fixed, but he's not sure just yet.

Carswell said he hopes the repairs get fixed sooner rather than later.

“We're just hoping that the situation gets better, brings more money and opportunity for everybody.”