Today’s Headlines

Get state headlines at Streetsblog CA, national headlines at Streetsblog USA

  • Of course, blame is going to be hurled on subway construction, even though only a small section of Stockton where the station pit exists is affected. Happens every, single time a massive public works project gets built. Sometimes, the claims are legit. Not this time. Just whining.

  • thielges

    True, this happens with just about any government intervention: some business owners will attempt to blame the fate of their failing business on some outside influence. The truth is hard to find though often it is just a case of a business teetering on failure already. Then their lease expires at the same time as the project and their landlord raises to the market rate, sinking profitability.

    There have been cases where transportation projects spiked business revenue. The most common is when a freeway bypasses a legacy business district. Similarly a freeway run through the center of an old city can ruin business (and residences) for blocks on either side. But those are durable and long lasting changes to the infrastructure. Not a transient construction project like the Central Subway which actually should improve the retail environment when complete.

  • There is also concern that the opening of the Chinatown station will displace small business owners as property values rise around the station. This has happened on the UES during construction of Phase 1 of the 2nd Ave subway, as well as the inner city portion of DC’s Green Line in the Columbia Heights and Petworth neighborhoods.

  • One wonders whether the rents have stayed the same for these businesses.

  • mx

    11:20 PM and no trains at all in the Central Subway per sfmunicentral. Shutdown time well spent…

  • p_chazz

    Probably so. Commercial real estate leases are usually long term.

  • I can make guesses, too. They usually are 3/5/7 years, and where I work is relocating because our number is up this year.

  • p_chazz

    When BART was constructed, many if not most of the businesses on Market and Mission Streets in San Francisco and in downtown Oakland and Berkeley failed during subway construction. In those cases, the businesses were already weakened by people changing their shopping habits from going downtown to suburban malls. The subway construction was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. A transient construction project may improve the retail environment, but the businesses that benefit won’t be the ones that suffered through the construction.