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Jarvis Red Line Station Construction Worries Local Business Owners

By Benjamin Woodard | November 2, 2012 9:25am | Updated on November 2, 2012 9:28am
 Commuters pass through the Jarvis "L" station on Oct. 31, 2012 — a day before its six-week closure.
Commuters pass through the Jarvis "L" station on Oct. 31, 2012 — a day before its six-week closure.
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DNAinfo/Benjamin Woodard

ROGERS PARK — One by one, Red Line "L" stations on the North Side are being closed down and renovated in six-week stretches, inconveniencing commuters and pinching small businesses that rely on foot traffic to and from the stations.

Next up, Jarvis, which opens its doors to construction crews at 10 p.m. Thursday.

"It sucks," said Sandra Carter, co-owner of Taste Food & Wine, located at 1506 W. Jarvis Ave. "It is going to hurt."

Carter and other business owners located around the station on Jarvis Avenue expect to take a hit  in the same way other businesses that have already gone through station closures at Morse and Granville avenues.

"We're expecting about a 25 percent drop in business," said Dan Sullivan, owner of Charmers Cafe just two doors down from Taste Food & Wine.

Sullivan said he plans to reduce the amount of product he carries, pare down the menu, and provide fewer hours to employees.

Carter and her business partners are getting creative and offering online-ordering and local delivery service a couple of nights a week to make up for some of the lost business.

The Jarvis station renovations will be similar to those made at Morse, Granville, Thorndale, Argyle and now at the Berwyn and Lawrence stations, which are all part of the Chicago Transit Authority's $86 million Red Line renovation project for North Side stations.

Faisal Dossa, owner of Morse Gyros near the Morse station, said his business is still recovering from the closure during the summer.

"It is necessary," Carter said the day before Jarvis closes and business will begin to decline. "The 'L' station is old and has fallen into disrepair. It'll be well worth it."

Under separate and more intensive projects the Bryn Mawr and Loyola stations will be renovated, and Wilson will be completely reconstructed over the next few years.

Designs and 33-month construction plans for the Wilson station were announced in October and are set to begin in the middle of next year. The reconstructed station will be bigger and allow transfers between Red Line and Purple Express.

At Loyola, a $9.5 million project that's partially funded by Loyola University is already under way as crews work to construct a plaza adjacent to the station and a mixed-use, four-story apartment building that will include about 15,000 square feet of retail space.

Plans for Bryn Mawr have not been released, according to the CTA.