Light rail construction poses threat to surrounding businesses

Black-owned club struggles to stay open while losing customers


By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer


Progress at what cost? Metro Transit’s impeding connection of the Twin Cities through light rail, all things being equal, is a step into the future. Hooking Minneapolis and St. Paul up with convenient, super-fast means of commuter travel and transport on a long commercial corridor seems to be advantageous for all in the metro area.

Illustration by Christopher E. Harrison

Except all things aren’t equal. The miles-long strip of asphalt has been ripped asunder to make way for this coming marvel of modern transportation. Meanwhile, all but the biggest franchises up and down University Avenue in St. Paul are catching it in the neck, dealt a financial blow from which some smaller concerns haven’t been able to recover.

Arnellia Allen of the nightclub Arnellia’s notes, “I’ve seen signs in the some of the stores, that they haven’t been able to make it. They’ve had to close.” The precarious position in which the light rail transit (LRT) leaves people trying to make a living at businesses up and down University Avenue — especially in this economic day and age — is alarmingly obvious.

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