KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The KC Streetcar Extension from Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City still has a lot of work left until it’s ready for business in early 2025.
While tracks have been laid from Union Station to just south of 36th Street, the massive project is really hurting some local businesses.
Mary Johnson is the manager of Fragrance World at 37th and Main. Tracks have been put down outside that business, but the lane is still closed to cars. Orange barricades and cones sit outside, welcoming those who figure out where to park.
“It’s really hard because there’s nowhere for our customers to park, and it’s a mess out there,” she said.
Another issue is the ever-changing driving lanes. Johnson said it’s dangerous and scary, especially at night.
“It’s like an obstacle course,” she said.
Johnson said eight businesses on Main Street have closed in the last few months. While she can’t say if the streetcar extension project is to blame, she suspects it’s a major factor. As for sales, she said Fragrance World is doing a fifth of what they would have done in normal years.
“We have to pay the mortgage, the light bill, our stock, and we have way less customers. So, it’s making it more difficult to keep functioning the way we should be,” she said.
Further south, near 40th and Main, Christina Decker doesn’t have things as bad. Streetcar work only started in the last year, and she said it’s only impacted her twice: once when crews had to work on the water lines, and the other when crews hit a gas line on Tuesday.
“Oher than that we’re sustaining. Could it probably be more sales? Yes.”
But she said it’ll be worth it in the long run when she’s able to hop on a streetcar and head to the KC Current’s new stadium near the River Market.