Would Post Oak rail line hurt businesses?

February 25, 2010 3:43:50 PM PST
Convenience, but at what price? That's what some local business owners are wondering about a proposed light rail line in the Post Oak area. They met this morning to discuss their concerns. Business owners along Post Oak and even residents living nearby are upset. They met inside Kenny & Ziggy's for about two hours to express their concerns and talk about possible plans to stop the development here.

Those opposed say METRO plans to start construction along Post Oak by the end of the year, though they are not clear on specifics about what route the line might take. They tell us it will mostly cut north and south along Post Oak through the Galleria area.

Owners worry about construction having great impact on their businesses, much like the businesses, they say, that suffered along the Main Street rail line during construction.

They also fear the congestion that they say the rail line will ultimately create. Some business owners say the are already thinking about shutting down and moving elsewhere.

"Businesses close, offices decide not to renew their leases, so property owners will lose tenants and go elsewhere," suggested Helene Zadok of Zadok's Jewelers.

Some in the area claim that METRO says that this rail line will bring a lot of customers to the Galleria area. One business owner said if people can't afford to drive their cars to this area, that they ultimately can't afford to buy products at many of these stores.

METRO says this rail line is by no means a done deal and that there are no concrete plans to begin construction later this year on this Post Oak line. That's contrary to what business owners in the area tell Eyewitness News they believe. METRO says they still have a lot of specifics to work out with the City of Houston, TxDOT and the Uptown Management District.