Shops in the Broadmarsh shopping centre are complaining of being left in the dark amid the car park demolition, renovation work and falling numbers of customers.
Traders in the shopping centre say there has been a “dramatic” change since the start of the demolition of the car park in December.
The works are part of a £250m project to renovate the intu Broadmarsh shopping centre.
Owner of Creme café Sid Sharma said his business is now struggling – with him and his wife working six days a week and only take their own wages home.
The 32-year-old said: “We’ve seen a dramatic effect since the bus station went down.
“We relied on passers-by and people walking through to the car park.
“Now people don’t tend to come down here because they think it’s closed.
“We’ve seen the shopping centre going downhill. This next year is going to be tough.”
Work started last September, with the demolition of the main structure of the car park starting before Christmas.
Last weekend, the bridges linking the Broadmarsh car park and shopping centre were taken out in the early hours of Friday and Saturday.
In early 2018, work will begin on the shopping centre itself. The new space will include a cinema, and cafes and shops leading out to Collin Street and Carrington Street.
However, businesses currently trading say the outlook in the short-term is bleak.
Iraj Hayeari, 40, owner of Tailors, called the current state of the shopping centre “embarrassing” for his business.
He added: “We’re worried because we don’t know where we stand. We’ve had to find out what we know on Facebook.”
Sanjeev Dhier, 56, owner of Rebel clothing shop, said: “I have seen a lot of shops closing since the car park and bus station closed.
“I think people don’t come here because they think all of the shops are shut.
“It didn’t help that they didn’t even put up the notices saying the shops are still open until much later.”
Part of the frustration for shop owners, they report, is that they are receiving mixed communications from the council and intu.
Mr Dhier added: “We don’t know what’s happening here, sometimes we’re told 2020, sometimes 2022.”
Neha Sharma also complained about the lack of communication.
The 34-year-old, co-owner of Creme, said: “We need a real picture of what’s going to happen, but they keep saying that they don’t have the answers.”
Business owners say that they have a meeting with intu next Monday in Creme, to discuss developments.
Councillor Jon Collins, Leader of the City Council, said: “The end result will definitely be worth it and the area will be transformed by this new development, a new and better intu Broadmarsh shopping centre, a new City Hub for Nottingham College and a great pedestrian environment for people to shop, relax and enjoy themselves in.”
CBJ have contacted Intu for comment and are awaiting a response.