Business plummets for Pensacola St. shops as emergency repairs continue


It’s been over a week since emergency repairs began on Pensacola Street, and businesses are feeling the effects.

City officials discovered underground storm water drains, built in 1971, needed immediate repairs or the road might collapse. Repairs could take months.

Nearby businesses were caught off-guard with the news.

Now, traffic barricades line Pensacola Street, reminding drivers of the emergency repair work with no places to park.

Menya Musashi Ramen employee William Perez says it’s bad for business.

“(Businesses at Pensacola Plaza used to share) 10 or 15 spots for cars. That’s not a lot of spots to begin with, and now, there’s no spots. That really affects our business, especially with ramen,” Perez said. “A lot of customers come in and out, so parking was a problem. Now, we’re just devastated.”

The lack of parking means business has gone downhill in the week since repairs began and with a projected repair timetable of a few months, it’s making business owners sweat.

“For us, being a small business that we are, that’s a big number. That’s a loss of revenue for us,” said Perez.

Affected businesses think there’s a solution right in front of them – an empty lot that customers can park in. The problem is that it’s private property.

We’re told city officials paid a visit to Pensacola Street businesses Monday.

“We told them because we have this project going on, we need space next door for parking. They said they’re going to look into it and let us know,” said The Discount Store owner Mike Allwer.

Allwer says he hopes the repair work is a speedy process.

“We still need the customers of course, and everybody understands this job had to be done. We had two people from the city talk to us. They feel it and they try to help us much as possible,” Allwer said. “They said there’s not much they can do right now. We just need to be patient.”

HART owns the parking lot. In a statement, HART said:

“HART twice advertised for interest in use of the lots and received no interest. So, when appropriate, and if a particular parcel is available for other temporary uses that do not conflict or infringe upon the pre-construction needs of the project, HART, when asked, has allowed certain other short term uses that meet those criteria to use specific parcels, in part or whole, provided appropriate rent is paid for that use. The parcel at the corner of Pensacola and Kona streets is currently being rented to Eye Productions for temporary film production and parking use until late July 2017. The availability of that parcel after that date will be subject to the construction needs as they are identified and determined by HART at that time.”

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