Businesses along Ruthrauff prepare for construction project

Published: Jan. 28, 2019 at 8:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - A $101 million construction project at I-10 and Ruthrauff is set to start in the summer of 2019.

This two year project will be similar to the one at I-10 and Ina. The construction on Ina is set to wrap up in the Spring.

Businesses along Ruthrauff are faced with the decision to stick through the two year project or move to a different location.

Michael kelly, owner of Famous Sam’s, said his decision was pretty straight forward.

Famous sams on ruthrauff has been serving drinks and food in this building for the last 30 years.

“It was stay here and die or move on try to get something better going," Kelly said.

Famous Sam’s will leave their location of 30 years and move into their new space about a mile away, at River and La Cholla. They plan to open in February.

Construction does’t start for several months, however, Kelly said sales are already taking a hit, as other nearby businesses start to move out.

“Right now we’re down about 400 dollars a day just at lunches just from the to go orders and the people that came in regularly - business lunches and things like that,” Kelly said.

However, other businesses along Ruthrauff are planning to stick it out.

“We’re staying. We’re not going anywhere,” said Lawrence Simeza, owner of Power and Exercise Fitness Center.

Simeza said staying was really his only option.

“We just spent a lot of money into this business and there is no way we’re putting all this money in and then we decide to move. I guess we have to take the risk,” Simeza said.

It’s a risk he’s willing to take, knowing other businesses have been successful.

Two years ago, businesses along Ina faced the same fate.

Just like Simeza, Brian Bouffard, the owner of The Old Father Inn, decided to stay.

“You stay because you made a commitment. And you know when it’s all said and done it’ll be all worth the wait,” Bouffard said.

Bouffard said it has been a bumpy two years and he’s excited for the project to wrap up.

He said community support is what kept his business alive through the construction.

“You have to weigh out your own business decisions of whether it’s worth staying through it. Of whether you can. But the only way you can is the support of the neighborhood," Bouffard said.

Copyright 2019 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.