Globeville sidewalk construction is hurting business at Prodigy Coffee

Since the city closed the roads, the business has taken a serious revenue hit.
3 min. read
Prodigy Coffee’s location in Globeville. April 13, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

Prodigy Coffee is ringing the alarm. 

City roadwork and street shutdowns near the Globeville coffeeshop have reduced traffic and slowed down business since the beginning of the year, the store's executive director said in a press release.

“We are seeing a plummet -- our revenue, our foot traffic, our day-to-day transactions are taking a real hit,” Jeslin Shahrezaei, Prodigy’s executive director, told Denverite.

The nonprofit launched in 2015 to offer work-skills training for adults from 18 to 24, through a 12-month apprenticeship program. Soon after, Prodigy opened its first coffeeshop near the 40th and Colorado A Line stop. The Globeville spot opened in 2022.

Then came construction.

The city began adding sidewalks, curbs, gutters, stairs, rails and lighting, making a rough-to-walk part of town a lot better for pedestrians along 44th Avenue between Delaware Street and Broadway. 

At first the nonprofit was excited about the improvements to the neighborhood.

“We welcome infrastructure,” said Shahrezaei. “We know that Globeville has been historically underserved."

The work was funded by the voter-approved Elevate Denver bond passed in 2017. 

“The bond included $47.7 million to fill existing gaps in the sidewalk network, with $17 million specifically earmarked for the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods,” said Nancy Kuhn, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

But all the new infrastructure can only help Prodigy if the coffeeshop stays in business. 

“Unfortunately, we had to fully close the road because we can’t do the work and keep travel safe at the same,” explained Kuhn. “The roadway will reopen on April 26 and the entire project will be substantially complete in mid-June.”

Prodigy’s revenue is down substantially, Shahrezaei said, and the nonprofit wasn’t prepared to absorb that kind of hit. 

If Prodigy can make it through this stint of construction, the company will likely benefit form the work being done, and the neighborhood certainly will. 

“The goal of this project is to improve people’s ability to walk in the area and get to the places they want to go more safely,” Kuhn said. “ This includes students walking to and from Garden Place elementary. It also improves pedestrian access to the 41st and Fox Street RTD light rail station, and provides ADA accessibility improvements throughout the project area.”

Construction outside of Prodigy Coffee's location in Globeville. April 13, 2024.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

For now, the organization is looking for community support. 

Construction and infrastructure projects often cause disruptions to business, and the city does offer some support to struggling companies. 

Unfortunately, for Prodigy, the timing is bad. 

“The city’s Business Impact Opportunity Fund often offers business stabilization support grants for small businesses impacted by construction activities,” Kuhn said. “There is not currently a program round open.” 

DOTI has met with Prodigy and has added new signage on nearby streets reminding people the business is open.

Prodigy is also asking people to offer donations through a Colorado Gives campaign

The nonprofit is asking people to make a point of frequenting the Globeville branch during construction. 

“We want to make sure the community knows we’re still open," said Shahrezaei.

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