Stakeholders Disagree About Best Way Forward for Snider Plaza
Print and online news coverage of infrastructure replacement plans and a city of University Park proposal for creating a public improvement district (PID) to address maintenance, future needs, and amenities for Snider Plaza have drawn comments from merchants.
“It is astounding that our City Manager and City Council are lobbying for this additional tax burden on small business owners at a time like this. They should be doing everything they can to help small business owners recover from the devastation of COVID-19.”
Plaza Health Foods
“Many merchants have closed permanently, and many others are barely hanging on, hoping to continue to serve the community. And any taxes charged the property owners would simply be shifted to the merchants. We hope any construction would be somewhere off in the distant future. With the rebuilding of the office building on Daniel, then not having a sidewalk for January and February of this year, and now COVID, our sales have been negatively impacted for more than two years. We would appreciate a chance to catch up before more work blocks The Plaza.”
Rick and Susan Lewis
“As a merchant, I do not want the burden of extra taxes that a PID would bring to pay for landscaping, advertising, and valet parking. It should only be used to solve the parking issue. If the city allows 80% restaurants in Snider Plaza, there will be no place for employees or customers to park. As a resident, I do not want to valet park when I come to eat in Snider Plaza. Providing parking for employees will free up parking for customers.
“I also believe that the city should not replace the infrastructure in Snider Plaza for two years. It will drive more customers away. The infrastructure issue has been going on for many years and can wait until businesses stabilize after COVID.”
“While we understand the need for improvements, we suffered a tremendous loss in foot traffic when the sidewalks were replaced in front of our store from January into March of this year, followed by COVID. Storefront retailers are being pressured with higher rents, property taxes, price of goods, shipping, and operating costs, and any losses in sales leave us vulnerable.
“Thankfully, we reached another milestone, with 72 years in the plaza. We have been blessed by the support of our customers during these recent struggles, yet we know how difficult it is to maneuver in and around Snider Plaza without construction projects. We enjoy the relations and history we continue to build, and we feel the sorrow when yet another tenant in the plaza closes its doors. Retail is shifting, now more than ever, to the convenience and safety of online shopping. I hope our city leaders will be mindful of maintaining our community atmosphere, a consistent and pleasant shopping experience, and will diligently plan for a swift and comfortable change process when times are less volatile.”
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