Struggling Oviedo businesses blame road project delay



OVIEDO, Fla. - Some downtown Oviedo business owners said they're struggling because of a road project delay.

WFTV's Bianca Castro found out the shop owners have come up with their own plan to get customers in the door.

Downtown Oviedo is no doubt historic, but some said it lacks the charm of a shopping destination.
Just ask Arthur Evans, whose company leases many buildings to small businesses.

"Most of our people have survived, but you just get a sense that it's not what it needs to be. It's just that they're in survival mode," said Evans.

But businesses hope a new promotional flier will change that. It highlights 2,030 local vendors, from photographers to print companies, all based in downtown.

Melissa Pohlad owns one of six antique shops, The Coup Antiques, on the map.

"Hey, we're here. Come visit us. You can spend the whole afternoon here just shopping," she said.

Spending money to make the old buildings in Oviedo more attractive doesn't make sense because the Florida Department of Transportation plans to tear most of them down.

The buildings will be demolished for a road expansion, but now the project has been delayed because of funding, which means the lackluster look of downtown is sticking around.

"All of us are sitting here waiting on these roads to be done," said Evans.

But the new push to get locals back into local shops could already be working.

"Do you think you might come back?" Castro asked.

"Oh, definitely," said Marie Wisniewski, a first-time visitor.

The plan to expand the main road through downtown Oviedo has been split up in three phases. The first will begin in about four years.