estimates his walk-in business is down 40 percent at his powder-coating
company on South 25th Street.
Like many business
owners flanking the path of downtown Tacoma's future light-rail line, Gregg
Taylor says Tacoma Link will be a nice addition to the city.
"But I have to
live to see it," he said.
the 1.6-mile light-rail line has severely restricted access to Taylor's
powder-coating business on South 25th Street near Pacific Avenue. Taylor
estimates he's lost 40 percent of his walk-in business and he's negotiating
a second mortgage on his house to keep his business going.
All along the
route, business owners on 25th Street are similarly complaining about money
they've lost because of the construction. Those on Pacific Avenue, where
work began this week, are worrying about money they expect to lose when
construction reaches their doorsteps.
us," said Eric Lindley, manager of the Elephant Car Wash across the street
from Taylor's business.
"It's tough," said
John Hubert, manager of Harmon Brewing Co. on Pacific Avenue near South 21st
Street. "It's completely dead right now compared to what it normally would
And that's with
the bulk of the construction still a couple of blocks from his door.
A few doors down,
the owner of The Connoisseur Shop, a gift and greeting card store, is
bracing for hard times.
"We've had the gas
company for a week, now we have the asphalt layers," Ruth Swanson said,
looking out the window at the construction. "In March, the tracks come."
Swanson said she moved to her Pacific Avenue location about a year ago after
52 years in the Stadium District. She has no choice but to stay put now and
hope she survives.
planning a half-price sale to bring in foot traffic.
"I haven't put a
penny in my till all day," she said.
doesn't deny the construction causes some problems. But spokesman Lee
Somerstein said the agency is doing everything it can to help business
owners. That includes holding regular construction updates, handing out
fliers and posting signs telling motorists that businesses are still open
during the construction. Sound Transit also is talking with the Dome
District, a coalition of business owners, about an advertising campaign to
spread the word that businesses are still open. "We want to help them
through this crunch time so they're around and in good shape when it's
over," said Don Atkinson of the Dome District.