ANCHORAGE, Alaska -

Typically renovation projects are intended to have a positive effect on business and appearance but some downtown store owners say they're experiencing the opposite.

"It's just unappealing to walk past," says the owner of Sevigny Studio, Katie Sevigny. 

Renovation of the Legislative Information Office is a massive project that has required eastbound traffic on 1 block of 4th avenue to be blocked off to make room for a crane and construction materials.

"Obviously we have to have a certain footprint to do our work," said Mark Pfeffer, president of Pfeffer Development. "But to the extent that we can modify that footprint we have been." 

Pfeffer says he is working with the downtown partnership and local businesses to come up with solutions to keep business running as usual during the project. Work is expected to be complete by the end of December but the road is expected to reopen sooner, sometime in September. 

Sevigny says relief needs to come soon because her store and others rely heavily on tourists who stay in nearby hotels.

"It does concern me that the people coming into the town don't know how to navigate the streets and they don't know that we're here," said Sevigny. 

Pfeffer says in collaboration with The Downtown Partnership and local store owners it has proposed to add signage around the construction site with an arrow pointing travelers towards to stores on the other side.  There are also plans to give hotels an informative handout with store descriptions and a map.

"They have been proactive about coming down here and talking to us," said Sevigny. "Words are one thing but action is another and that is what we're hoping to see."

Not all businesses are upset with the renovation project. At Alaska Ivory Exchange employee Milly Lazich says she's made good friends with the construction crews that are next door neighbors.

"We visit, we exchange smiles and laughter, you know clean the sidewalk together," said Lazich. "They've been very, very nice. In fact they're good company."

An employee at M.A.'s hot dog stand says they've seen more business from the construction workers coming by for lunch. 

The signage and hotel handouts are expected soon according to Amy Slinker with Pfeffer Development, but no exact date has been set.