North Gate developments roll out

As students return to the University, they may be surprised to find that the North Gate area has developed even further since they left.

Clarke Cadzow, owner of Highland Coffees on Chimes Street and member of the North Gate Merchants Association, said the area saw some improvements during the winter break.

Cadzow said some of the area's new assets include a PJ's Coffee, which is currently being constructed, new sidewalks and a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant.

Brian Streetnan, general manager of the new Buffalo Wild Wings, said the restaurant opened to the general public Jan. 16. He said he received a lot of positive feedback before the restaurant even opened.

"We've even had people coming in before we opened, ready to eat," Streetnan said.

Streetnan said he expects the restaurant to be popular, especially because of its close proximity to campus.

"We've got a good location in an established area," Streetnan said. "It should be terrific."

Cadzow said he's not surprised Buffalo Wild Wings opened so quickly because of the strides workers made in the building's construction early in the project.

"It's pretty impressive how fast they can do all that," he said.

Cadzow said he's especially proud of the new sidewalks being paved along West State Street, stretching from the former Blockbuster building to the Wendy's restaurant.

"We have more pedestrians here than any other place in town," Cadzow said. "And it wasn't easy to walk here before."

Cadzow said the NGMA has been planning the sidewalks for nearly a year, and the construction began during the Thanksgiving break so the bulk of the work would occur while students were away for the winter break.

Cadzow said he expects construction on the sidewalk to be complete about a week after the spring semester starts.

Cadzow said he has heard several rumors about businesses looking to inhabit the space Blockbuster vacated, but he hasn't heard anything concrete.

"I'd like to see all the empty spaces full," he said. "We want thriving businesses here."

By Rachel Warren