Johnson Drive adding new businesses in the midst of construction disruption

Construction crews are making progress on installing new parking areas along Johnson Drive.
Construction has not stopped new businesses from setting up on the street since the disruption started this spring.

Since the major rebuild started on Mission’s Johnson Drive, concern has been focused on the impact of construction on the business community. Some retailers have relayed that they have seen a palpable drop in business since traffic and parking have been disrupted.

By another measure, though, Johnson Drive appears to have become more attractive for business since construction started. By the city’s count, since March at least eight new businesses have set up shop or are planning to open on Johnson Drive or close by on one of the side streets affected by construction.

Included on the count from the city are Mission Repair Express, Bonfire, Pond Photography, Uncommon Supply Co., Fishing Fly Box (coming in the Hues of Art spot), Indigo Rose Salon, Abode and The Bar (remodeling the Underhood Automotive property).

By the same count, a much smaller number have closed up and their fate not necessarily construction related. In the same timeframe, Paolini Garment, a custom tailor, moved to the Plaza, and Liberty Tax closed its Johnson Drive location. Diaper Daisy closed and that space is currently being filled by what will be the ninth new business. Underhood closed, but is being converted to The Bar. Late last year, before construction, Gass Camera left when the owner retired and that is the space taken by Mission Repair Express. A remodel of the Mission Wine and Spirits building also is under way.

The tally from Mission Public Information Officer Emily Randel indicates that worries about increasingly vacant storefronts on the city’s main street in recent years has taken a decided turn in a new direction, ironically in the midst of the construction. Some of the businesses that have moved in have cited the rehab of the downtown district as influencing their decision – in a positive manner.