OKLAHOMA CITY – Continued road improvements are proving to be not only an inconvenience for some metro drivers but also a liability for some nearby shop owners.
Construction is a part of the growing pains at 164th and Penn and have proved to be a headache for many commuters.
The empty pedicure chairs are all too familiar for K & U Nail Spa.
Spa Owner Kent Phan says over the past year this construction project at 164th and Penn has been driving away customers.
“Yesterday we waited like four or five hours for the first customers,” says Phan.
“They just find a whole new route to go. They avoid this area at all costs.”
His property manager Lori Chancey first heard of tenants wanting to pack up and move months ago.
“They’re worried about getting their rent paid because they’re not getting enough business,” says Chancey. “We have a couple that are questioning whether they are going to be able to stay in business.”
The city has been working on this small stretch of road for over a year now, so when is it going to be done?
“They would say August,” says Chancey. “August went into September and as you can see now it’s the end of November.”
Public works says give them a week, but what happens when they move to a different project in front of another shopping center?
Chancey says, “We do not want anyone else to experience what we’ve experienced.”
Shannon Cox with Oklahoma City Public Works says, “We do understand that road construction is extremely inconvenient as we go through and unfortunately we have to go through some growing pains as we do it but we sure try to get through it as fast as we can.”
Now all these businesses can do is hope their customers come back.
“Hopefully next year is better,” says Phan.
The businesses at Penn Pointe Shopping Center are reporting at least a 50% loss of business from last year to this year.
The city says some of the issues that keep delaying the project include weather and the crews running into utilities they have to clear before they can keep working.