Banana Boat owner Luke Therien said he has it better than most. The right turn into his restaurant at the Boynton Beach Marina comes before the orange and white barrels, yellow tape and mounds upon mounds of dirt that are completely visible.
“It doesn’t hurt us as much,” he said this week about the construction.
But, parking availability is now limited, and confusing, so customers of other businesses take up spots in his parking lot.
And, he says, “it’s not very pretty for the tourists.”
The construction is on a walkway and park where a dive shop once stood and was demolished last year. The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency set aside about $900,000 for the project. Workers have experienced several setbacks and the construction is causing business owners varied levels of frustration and annoyance. City officials requested signs be put up notifying the public the marina is still open after a business owner said she was losing money.
Work is expected to be completed by Jan. 20, Mike Simon, the CRA’s interim executive director, said Thursday.
Simon said what the workers have uncovered has been “completely unexpected.” Seawall upon seawall. Sidewalk upon sidewalk. They’ve been built up over the past several decades.
Plus, the workers have only so much time during a day because of the changing tides.
Lynn Simmons, who owns the Marina Bites cafe and Splashdown Divers — both in the marina — doesn’t see the project being completed anytime soon. She has a direct view of the construction through her store’s front window.
Simmons is especially frustrated. She ran her dive shop in the building that was demolished. Her boat was moved to a different slip in the marina because of the construction. She says the construction has ruined “walk-by advertising.”
But Therien says the wait will be worth it.
“Once it’s done it’s going to be very attractive,” he said. “If they can get it before season really gets going… after January … that’s what I’m really hoping for.”