A downtown Spokane business owner hit hard by construction says he may have to move locations in order for his shop to survive.
Runners Soul has been on the 200 block of N Wall since 1999. It's now surrounded by construction from the city, the new Urban Outfitters, and the former Macy's building.
Runners Soul owner Curt Kinghorn told KXLY 4 he's been braving this construction since last June, and he worries that even when construction is over, his business may never recover.
It was calm and quiet inside the Runners Soul on Thursday morning. Too quiet.
“This store at one point in time was very, very busy all the time because it was right in the middle of things and very active,” Kinghorn said.
But Thursday morning, customers were nowhere to be seen.
When you step out their front door, it's easy to see why.
Right now, the only entrance to Runners Soul is from Spokane Falls Boulevard, but the storefront is really difficult to see from the road. With so many people avoiding construction in general, Runners Soul says business has dropped off by up to 60 percent.
“I'm taking it day by day, but I really think, at this point, my lease comes up at the end of the year and quite honestly, more than likely, I'm not going to renew here,” said Kinghorn.
Kinghorn said the biggest problem is how long these projects have taken, and said the city could have been more transparent about delays.
“I was promised that this would be done in October of 2015, and it's going to hopefully be completed sometime in October of 2016,” said Kinghorn.
The city says this is a historic construction season, and they are learning how to better balance the needs of affected businesses.
“We can learn from their experiences, and learn how we can be more responsive, learn how we can get them better communication, learn how we can give them better tools to make better decisions,” said Marlene Feist, Communications Manager for the City of Spokane's Public Works department.
But Kinghorn worries his business may never bounce back.
“I planned on selling these stores and using that for retirement, and this store here is not sellable,” Kinghorn said. “There is no one in the world who would buy this store under these conditions.”
Kinghorn said now that the Urban Outfitters building sticks out 17 feet further than it used to, his business can't be seen from Main Ave. He also says the closing of Olive Garden has cut down foot traffic significantly, so those are adding to the drop in business.
Kinghorn said he plans to file a claim against the city once the construction is over.