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VIVO Cafe

Retailers struggling due to Sydney CBD light rail construction delays

VIVO Cafe
Photo: SMH

The SMH reports that construction of Sydney’s $2.1 billion light rail line along much of George Street in the central city has missed completion deadlines for the second time.

Seven of 10 zones on George Street have failed to meet the latest completion dates – some by several months – for laying of tracks, curbs and other civil construction work. This is despite a deadline extension last year.

A shop owner has said transport officials told him construction in front of his store near Martin Place could now last until Christmas, while a best-case scenario was October.

Con Vithoulkas (who co-owns Vivo Cafe on George Street with me) said his revenue had dropped by 30 per cent since construction began. “We don’t know when it’s going to end,” he said.

Known for attracting an after-work crowd until 8pm on Fridays, the cafe now closes at 4pm due to construction affecting their business.

“It’s not a little problem, it’s a major problem,” he said. “I have to go to the landlord and beg. There is no compo – nothing, zero.”

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