Pearl and Lynn Alley Improvements Underway

By Heather Brown | 19 Oct, 2016

pearl-alley-constructionWhile the new kinetic corn sculpture was a welcome addition to the Pearl Market landscape, it was supposed to be an artistic highlight to a significant makeover of Pearl and Lynn alleys in 2016. Early this year, work began on more than $1 million of improvements designed to make the alleys more appealing to small-scale retailers, downtown residents, workers and visitors. Planned work included new lighting, new dumpster enclosures, new flower planters, and the installation of two historic clocks.

But as is often the case when work is being done on or near historical buildings, delays cropped up. As crews began digging the foundation for the new lights, they damaged the ceilings of some underground vaults and basements below the alleys. Before the construction can continue, repairs must be made on the affected structures so they can support the weight of the new light foundations.

Building owners are not required to pay for the repairs, as the city tapped into funds that were intended to pay for a second phase of work. Work is expected to be complete before the end of 2016, and Capital Crossroads has begun raising funds from arts foundations to pay for the artwork that is central to the second phase of improvements.

“While the delays are certainly disappointing,” said Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts, “The work will be worth it in the end. We still believe strongly in the potential for Pearl and Lynn alleys.”

Capital Crossroads is grateful to alley businesses, Pearl Market vendors and market patrons for their patience in dodging construction throughout the summer. Shoppers continued to visit alley restaurants and the market, despite the construction woes, and come 2017,  shoppers will be treated to beautifully renewed alleyways.