The businesses along Market Street almost got an extended Labour Day weekend. Earlier today the city announced the stretch of Market between Sackville and Prince streets would be closed to all traffic and pedestrians for the next two weeks.
That came as a surprise to Inkwell Boutique owner Andrea Rahal, who only found out this morning through social media.
“We were under the impression the contractor would notify them, and they were supposed to,” says Halifax spokesperson Jennifer Stairs. “We totally agree a couple business days is not enough notice.”
Argyle Developments Inc., needed Market Street closed off to construct a new crane for its Nova Centre project, which would have severely impacted business for Inkwell and neighbour Applehead Studios.
Luckily, shortly after speaking with The Coast, a representative from Argyle Developments Inc. met with Rahal and accepted the blame for the miscommunication. A temporary stairwell will now be built to allow pedestrian access for Inkwell’s customers.
“They also promised to put up a sign, and I promised them artwork for it,” says Rahal.
According to her, the Argyle representative claimed construction on the $500-million development has been moving “too quickly,” which caused the missed communication.
“I don't know if it's an excuse,” Rahal says. “I just have to keep moving along.”
This isn’t the only time Inkwell has had to deal with being so close to the future convention centre. Rahal says every now and then construction teams will pylon-off parking sports outside her store without giving her notice. The city is sometimes less-than-helpful in those cases.
“I call 311, and they never know what to do,” she says.
The city says it's working to avoid confusion like this street closure mix-up happening in the future, and why AD Inc., who applied for the permits to close the block on August 19, never bothered telling anyone.
“Why it took so long, I don't know,” says Jennifer Stairs. “There should have been some better communication and follow-up.”
President of Argyle Developments Inc., Joe Ramia wasn’t able to be reached for comment.