Construction on Union Street was originally scheduled to be completed by February, but after a prospective tenant changed their mind, plans to move forward have been delayed.

The buildings, located between Court Street and Congress Street, were damaged more than two years ago in a fire. Since then, all but one property have been rebuilt. The building was originally slated to house a restaurant, according to a previous Post report, but it is now unknown what business will move in once construction is finished.

"I had a tenant all lined up very early on," Guy Phillips, managing partner at Athens Housing HotLink, which owns the building, said. "At the 11th hour, their desires changed, and they have an escape clause so I am in search of another tenant."

Phillips added that he was in talks with a few business owners, but nothing was for sure. However, the construction should be completely finished in a matter of days or weeks.

Some students, like Cynthia Martindale, hope to see another restaurant move in.

"Athens needs a donut shop," Martindale, a sophomore studying media and social change, said. "Any kind of donut would make me so happy."

Brooke Miller, a sophomore studying marketing, said she would like to see a Chick-fil-A move in, as it is the only thing she feels Athens is missing.

In addition to the storefront property on the first floor, there are also four four-bedroom apartments upstairs nearing completion.

"The upstairs apartments are nearly completed. In fact, there are cleaning crews finishing them up," Phillips said. "In a few days, I think they're going to be inspected by the State of Ohio to make sure we built them as we said we'd build them."

Although a portion of West Union Street is still cordoned off, the sidewalk has been re-opened to pedestrian traffic.

"I live in Bromley so it's very convenient that the sidewalk is opened," Miller said. "I'm very happy that it's almost over."

Samuel Falter, a junior studying marketing who lives right above Jackie O's, also said the re-opening of the sidewalk made it easier to get home.

"It is very much of an inconvenience when you want to go home and you need to cross the street once, and then you have to cross back," he said.

Other students, like Sawyer Jones, who also lives above Jackie O's, were just happy the construction work had ended.

"They were very loud," Jones, a junior studying accounting and finance, said. "They were probably up at 6 a.m. I'm very happy it's all over."

@thenextbigming

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