Backhoes roll in, business plummets in downtown Seattle

KING 5's Ted Land reports

There's no easy way to do it. When the city needs to fix a street, it's inevitably going to inconvenience someone. But in downtown Seattle, one small business owner worries a project might put him out of business.

“It’s a tricky spot in the best of times, now it's a really tricky spot,” said Jack Geary, who owns Owl N’ Thistle Irish Pub.

The decades-old bar and restaurant is stuck right in the middle of the latest road construction project in downtown Seattle, a months-long effort to replace a more than century-old timber structure holding up Post Avenue.

It's an example of how tricky it can be for the city to take care of its aging infrastructure and still allow easy access to storefronts.

Geary says as soon as the backhoes rolled in, many of his customers took a detour.

“We're off quite a bit actually,” he said. “In the city of Seattle, in the restaurant business, it's kind of hard to make money in the best of times, so we were just borderline, normally, and now we're way below borderline.”

He says it feels like there's been one project after another in his neighborhood. Construction crews have also taken over Western Avenue, about a block away. Up on First Avenue, businesses are preparing for construction of the streetcar extension, a major project expected to last until 2019.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says the Post Avenu work is supposed to wrap up at the end of the year. SDOT says it provided signs letting people know that Owl N' Thistle is open through construction.

The city offered compensation to businesses impacted by the seawall construction, and Geary hoped they'd do that for him, but he says he was told it wasn't an option.

© 2017 KING-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment