[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — The light-rail system that opens Dec. 27 has remade Central Avenue, creating opportunities for businesses even as construction woes have swept away some old businesses. Nearly four years after construction began, merchants are welcoming customers back to Phoenix’s main thoroughfare. A billion-dollar face lift left it with new landscaping, a series of public-art projects and a host of new businesses hoping to capitalize on the rail system’s estimated 26,000 boardings a day.
Even as businesses celebrate the end of construction, they worry about a recession that has led to shuttered storefronts across the country. And for those who survived the detours and construction cones, resentment lingers. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]