Aurora/Naperville Tease Dance and Fitness Studio for women is fighting to stay open during construction because it’s students are finding nearly impossible to to get to the Studio with Route 59 construction in full swing and the additional closure of the alternate route Liberty Street.
“This is so frustrating as a small business owner. After ten years in business, this construction has cost us than 100 students this session because the Route 59 expansion. Now our only other optional route, Liberty Street is closed too. The students just can not get here in a reasonable amount of time, ” said Kristin McNabb, Founder of Tease Dance and Fitness.
Tease Dance and Fitness Studio is located in the Meridian Parkway Office Campus and can be accessed by Rt. 59 or Liberty Street. They are one of the affected businesses hosting Open Forum with City of Aurora Mayor – Tuesday, June 3 at 9:00am at The Hartford. 4245 Meridian Parkway Aurora
This forum will discuss the local construction in the Meridian Parkway area and hoping to put some pressure on local governments to NOT close off all throughways at the same time. The closure of Liberty has caused a lot of inconvenience for workers trying to get to their jobs in the Meridian Parkway Business complex as well as the students trying to get to class at Tease Dance and Fitness. The Hartford is across the street from the studio (4245 Meridian Parkway). The mayor of Aurora and an alderman will be attending.
Helping Small Businesses
According to Inc. Magazine, municipalities are now helping small businesses survive during construction.
Cities, for example, have been offering mitigation funds to replace lost revenue, they have relaxed zoning laws to permit business signs in places normally off-limits; others relax parking requirements. Sacramento, California requires contractors to provide signs noting business are open and accessible. Grand Rapids, Michigan underwrites business-specific construction-based advertising up to $500, while San Jose, California subsidizes sale discounts.
Most cities recognize that it is much easier and often more politically sound to help retain an existing business than to encourage a new business to move in. In these difficult economic times, cities may become even more proactive in helping their businesses succeed so they can maintain their tax base.
Students Weigh In
Students are finding in increasingly difficult to get to class.
“A while ago you sent an email with alternate routes to the studio to avoid the construction on Rt. 59,” said Kim Santos, long time student of Tease. “One of the alternate routes was to exit Rt.59 off I-88, turn right on Diehl, left on Eola and left on Liberty to Meridian. I was on my way to class today, taking this route, and Liberty is closed! I had no idea. I tried to get around it but it was getting later and later (I was already late for class) and every road was so backed up. I decided to turn around and go home.”
Other students shared their concerns about the construction’s impact.
“I had a student miss class last night because she didn’t know Liberty was closed and couldn’t find an easy access to the studio… Another came in late and said it took her double the time to get to class. She was very frustrated. “– Jessica Overstreet, Instructor
” I will never stop going to Tease despite the traffic, but I am angered that it now 75 minutes rather than 30 to commute to the studio. Tease is the best studio out there and the city of Aurora as well as IDOT needs to realize that they are hurting not only Tease, but the students who rely on their classes as a form of therapy, companionship and fitness every week. Over the past year I have lost 60 pounds and when I joined Tease a few months ago, I lost 15 more. Recently, though I have found it very difficult to get to the studio because of local construction messing with my commute. A normal 30-35 min drive is now taking me 70-75 minutes. It varies depending on the days. I live in Schaumburg so not only do I have to deal with the hassle of 59 being torn up but I have to worry about 2 expressways not being jammed up – 355 and 88. Because of my love for Tease, I have decided to give up my time to make sure I make it to class to have my twice a week escape.” Michelle Duhr, student
“Tease is so much more than a place to dance and get fit. It’s a community where women from all walks of life come to grow through strength, expression, and camaraderie. I would be devastated if I lose my job here.” said instructor Kathryn Fitzgerald
If you are a business, employee or student affected by this construction, please come the the open Forum Tuesday, June 3 at 9:00am at The Hartford. 4245 Meridian Parkway Aurora If you can’t come you may voice your opinion by contacting the Aurora Mayors Office at 630-256-INFO and voice your opinion.
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