$5 million in upgrades from KUB and the city of Knoxville are designed to make the North Knoxville area more accessible - and a lot greener.

KUB's part of the project begins in late October by digging up water mains and fire hydrants.

"It’s mostly vintage retro mid-century modern,” that’s how Theresa Griffin describes the many good inside her store – Retrospect on North Central Avenue.

She's excited about what the changes outside her store could mean for business inside.

"It's supposed to slow down the traffic, it's supposed to be much more pedestrian friendly, bike friendly. So I think that would mean business friendly, slow everybody down so they can come in and shop,” said Griffin.

The city hopes to make the area greener, too, by creating a new linear park between Pearl Place and Baxter Avenue.

It's meant to serve as a gateway into Happy Holler.

"Making the pedestrian experience once you arrive in the district more inviting and support the businesses that have located there,” explained City of Knoxville Redevelopment Deputy Director Anne Wallace.

Griffin looks at merchants on Cumberland Avenue dealing with construction.

"Wow, I wonder how they're doing, how this is affecting them and pretty soon I’ll be feeling their pain,” she said.

But she believes any construction dust will be worth the finished project for her neighborhood.

"It’s a great neighborhood, cool and quirky and we like it here,” said Griffin.

The city is hosting a forum at Central United Methodist at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to give residents a chance to voice their opinions on the project.