Arlington shop owners celebrate this street’s renovation

As Hershey Jones set up his namesake restaurant in downtown Arlington in late 2019, Abram Street was undergoing a facelift of its own.

The arterial roadway, running from downtown to the Grand Prairie city limits, had been under some form of construction since 2014. Workers roped off lanes to install new drainage or sewer pipes or reduced lanes to make space for wider sidewalks or lighting. For Jones’ first several months running Hershey’s Palace at 513 E. Abram St., construction complicated parking and downtown.

“It raised a flag,” he said, “but I saw that it was further completed than from the time that I did what I had to do, that it wouldn’t affect me as much.”

Now, as the city puts the finishing touches on the project, Jones is seeing more people walk around — and passersby are seeing more of the businesses that line the street.

“We want people to get out and see that downtown Arlington has improved,” he said.

Mayor Jeff Williams had a similar message Friday at the intersection of Abram and Mary streets. In front of around 50 officials and business leaders, he said better days are ahead for the city, especially downtown.

“We know that we’re not totally out of the pandemic, but we need to take note of great accomplishments, and definitely Abram is one of those,” Williams said.

The project, which voters voted to fund in the 2008 bond elections, spanned seven miles, from Collins Street to just past state Highway 360. Its completion marks the end of construction-related traffic headaches for downtown businesses and motorists. The six-year project was the largest street rebuild in the city’s history, according to officials.

Along Abram Street’s downtown stretch, businesses have started to see the renovation’s effects.

Natalie Ellis, general manager of the

Continue Reading

Immigrant restaurant owners risk everything for the American dream. Now COVID-19 could end it.

All their friends told immigrants Max and Lara Lucchetti that living in America would be easy, despite the price tag. So they sold their handyman service, uprooted their lives in Milan and invested their life savings – all $100,000 of it – on a familiar gamble: opening a restaurant in South Florida.

Now, facing an obstacle they didn’t anticipate in COVID-19, the Lucchettis may be forced to close their Pompano Beach restaurant, La Forketta, within two months, and give up their American dream.

A National Restaurant Association survey in mid-September estimates that 100,000 restaurants have already permanently shut nationwide, and 40 percent of operators don’t expect to survive another six months without federal relief.

But the Lucchettis carry an added burden that other struggling restaurants don’t share. They belong to a class of immigrant entrepreneurs whose future in America is staked to their business’s survival.

If La Forketta fails, their visas may be canceled, forcing Max and Lara and their two sons to move back to Italy – or face deportation.

“It’s been horrible,” says Max, spinning a margherita pizza in the oven of his rustic – but empty – trattoria in Pompano’s suburban Palm Aire neighborhood. “I’ve just been scared. Lots of sleepless nights.”

To open a restaurant in the United States, many foreign-born business owners like the Lucchettis apply for E-2 visas, says Patricia Wall-Santiago, a Fort Lauderdale immigration attorney who has 10 such clients. So-called E-2 “investor treaty” visas are granted to entrepreneurs who invest large sums of money in a U.S. business; for restaurants, it’s roughly $100,000. The visa requires owners to not only break even but also hire U.S. workers and hit profitability goals, she says.

Hitting those goals during the pandemic, when restaurant capacity has been restricted, is likely impossible. La Forketta’s sales are

Continue Reading

To Save On Labor, Contractors And Owners Turn To A Surprising Ally: Chemistry

Contractors and the owners who hire them have always looked for ways to shorten construction timelines and shave costs off their budgets. But with the health and safety of their workforce top of mind, construction professionals have another priority: reducing the number of laborers who actually need to be on-site at one time.

While masks and temperature checks can help, reducing the human density of a construction site is perhaps the most effective tool for preventing viral transmission. To lower the amount of labor they need, contractors and owners are now enlisting the aid of scientifically advanced construction materials.

“We’ve definitely seen an increase in inquiries as a result of the shutdowns and site requirements,” said Tim Yeiser, president of Dricrete, a construction materials company. “Contractors are trying to get as much work done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and we’ve known for decades that one of the best ways to do that is to rely on chemistry.”

Yeiser’s flagship product is Dricrete, a concrete additive that forms an impermeable chemical lattice to keep water out. The product is mainly used in underground parking structures in multifamily and mixed-use buildings to keep out groundwater that could otherwise seep in and damage the structure.

To build underground parking facilities, contractors would typically need to painstakingly deploy a waterproof plastic membrane across the entire job site before they could begin pouring concrete. Depending on the size of the site, that process can require 10 to 15 people, Yeiser said. On sites that use more advanced materials, the need for labor is far lower.

“When contractors use Dricrete, the waterproofing material gets mixed in at the plant, so there’s no need to do any more work on-site, it’s a totally hands-off process,” Yeiser said. “We’ve poured entire parking garages with just one

Continue Reading

Merle Hay bowling alley gets new owners, renovation

Merle Hay bowling alley gets new owners, renovation

The bowling alley at the Merle Hay Mall is getting a makeover, as well as new owners.

a sign above a store: merle hay mall

© Provided by KCCI Des Moines
merle hay mall

The sports bar Gameday bought Merle Hay Lanes last month and renovated it into Gameday Lanes.

Sign up for our Newsletters

They reopened the alley two weeks ago, while still putting on some of the finishing touches. Owners said there was a void in the bowling community and they were excited to step in and fill it.

League play has already begun at

Continue Reading

Construction Mud Control Guide For Remodelers, Builders, Contractors, And House Owners

Choosing an important contractor could be a daunting course of, as everybody needs the best quality for one of the best value. In truth you could say that the variety of decisions you will have while choosing a roof repair contractor, are as diverse because the variety of decisions you could have whereas selecting a roof for you house. They rent GC who used to be tile guy or painter and received his GC license and now he have rights to take complete project, outsource all other work to other contractors, cost 15% for delegation and do his tile work.

Earlier than you even name up a contractor to do the house flipping for you, you should know exactly, in nice detail, what you want executed to the home. Do It Yourself – Obviously, until you’ve got completed an analogous venture before for another person, the contractor wins palms down on experience.

You will be probably the most skilled, best managed building company, with a secure of talented subcontractors and nonetheless go out of business should you do not need a robust course of in place on bidding for each job. Contractor – Contractors not only should carry insurance on their staff and themselves, but in addition on the standard of the job.

For example, should you hire the painter to come back out before the cupboard installer and the flooring professionals, you may seemingly pay much less for portray, as the painters do not have to spend as much time defending the new supplies from getting paint on them.

Some contractors do not reply their phones over the week ends or after enterprise hours. Additionally, since your selection relies upon a lot on the nature of the roof that you want to get repaired, deciding on an excellent roof …

Continue Reading