Downtown Stuart to get facelift this summer, businesses to remain open

STUART, Fla. - Downtown Stuart is getting a major facelift for the first time in decades this summer, but businesses want people to know they're staying open through it all.

“It’s going to be a little dusty, a little noisy, but we’re still going to be here," said Trina Langestidd, owner of Simple Pleasures Bath and Body.

A $528,000 "streetscape" project is starting in a couple of weeks.

The city is adding parking along Flagler Avenue, a pedestrian area with more seating and updated landscaping on Osceola Street, improving drainage and resurfacing and repainting the roads.

"It’s really going to help not only with the appearance of downtown, but also with the functionality of our streets," said Thondra Lanese, director of Stuart Main Street.

Construction begins on Flagler Avenue on May 21 and lasts through June, but crews won't need to fully shut down the road there.

"We want to make sure that the impact is minimized as much as we possibly can," Lanese said.

However, Osceola Street will be shut down to cars starting July 9 and remain closed until August 19 as construction goes on there. The sidewalks will remain open.

"It will definitely soften business a little bit, but we have planned extra programs," said Terri Early, owner of Clam Shell Clothiers.

A tram will be available to transport people from nearby parking areas to downtown businesses.

The streetscape is set to be complete by the end of August.

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