DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Construction may be an ingredient for progress but it’s not a receipt for pizza sales.
“It’s hurting our business really bad,” said Levon Juarez, a manager at Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakery in Denton.
Business at the pizza restaurant is down 30 percent ever since construction began on E. Hickory Street.
Once complete, the Hickory Street project will add 87 more parking spaces, wider sidewalks, and more outdoor dining room for restaurants.
Kim Phillips with the Denton Convention & Visitors Bureau said it will no longer look like just street but an entertainment district.
But in the meantime, businesses along the downtown street are struggling.
Making matters worse, The City of Denton says the project is behind schedule and now estimates it to be finished by February.
Juarez said he was initially told it would be done by now.
“Obviously this is not the landscaping you want to have in the middle of your entertainment district,” said Phillips looking out at the row of orange cones and bulldozers on Hickory Street. “But at the same time that how it happens.”
Knowing the struggling of the local businesses along the street, Phillips turned to a local a local app developing company, From the Future, for help.
“We jumped at the chance to do the app.” said Mike Christian, founder and CEO. “It sounded like it was right up our alley.”
Businesses say the big problem is people not knowing where to park with all the construction, so these developers came up with mobile app that pinpoints the closest parking lots.
The app is called Dig Little D and can be downloaded for free.
The developers at From the Future then decided to do what they do best and created a game for the app.
Starting next week, the Dig Little D app will also include a game featuring a Chihuahua gathering coins while being chased by roosters.
The coins then can be redeemed for prizes – many of them from businesses on Hickory Street.
Juarez said he’s hoping the app might drive new customers to check-out Hickory Street, but even more remind his long-standing customers, despite the construction out front, his restaurant is still open.
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