The project's $1.2 million in street improvements began last month and will include landscaping along Chevy Chase Drive, Acacia Avenue, Adams Street, Park Avenue and Palmer Avenue; the installation of a decorative trellis over the existing plaza at Adams and Chevy Chase; and upgraded crosswalks and sidewalks.
The project, which is scheduled for completion in mid-October, will also make way for metered parking along Adams and Palmer and a few extra parking spaces in the area, Cianfrini said.
"Seven years ago, when I started out, you couldn't even get a light bulb changed on the sidewalk," Cianfrini said.
But a lot has changed since then.
Since the inception of the Adams Square Merchants Assn., the area has undergone some major improvements, Cianfrini said, including the first phase of the streetscape project in 2002. That first phase included sidewalk widening, the addition of a plaza and improvements to storefronts along Adams, Palmer and Chevy Chase.
"Well, I'm positive here, it's going to be like a second Beverly Hills," said Rozik Pezaveh, owner of Angels Touch Salon on Palmer. "My clients keep telling me it's going to turn into the second Beverly Hills, Adams Hills."
Before it turns into anything, however, Pezaveh said she understands she is going to have to deal with complaints from customers inconvenienced by the construction.
It's already affecting her business, she said.
"Yeah, it is a little bit annoying," Palmer resident Juana Torres said. "You have to kind of walk around so not to go in the construction."
Residents are having trouble just getting out of the area on foot because the sidewalks are being worked on, Torres said.
"We really should be ticked off, we should be angry," Cianfrini said.
But construction workers have been very helpful in trying to put out ramps and clearing dirt so that patrons can still access the area relatively easily, Cianfrini said.
"We want to make sure the customers are safe, and we want to keep the neighbors happy," contractor Vigen Hatamian said.
Hatamian said he and his crew are doing what they can to lessen the construction's impact and keep the project running smoothly.
"If you don't stretch, you don't grow," Cianfrini said. "They don't have a magic wand to make everything squeaky clean. It's going to be noisy, it's going to be dirty. That's construction."
Business owners, patrons and residents will have to suffer a bit for the next few months, but it will be worth it in the end, Pezaveh said.
"Everybody was coming inside here, just laughing and saying, 'Wow, this is such a junk area?. I'm more than happy with the construction. It will make the area much nicer," she said.