LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The owner of a small business in Downtown Los Angeles claimed Metro is building a major rail line outside her door, and the construction has destroyed her business.
The construction at the corner of 2nd Street and Broadway is part of a transit project to bring more people to the area eventually.
But for Cardio Barre at 209 S. Broadway, the construction is driving people away. And the gym may have to close, according to owner Chatammour Henderson.
“It became a nightmare within six months,” Henderson said. She saved up for three years and got a loan to open the place. She is the first in her family to graduate from college.
She said she chose to open her gym in downtown because “it’s all about visibility, access, where people can actually walk by, see us and inquire.”
Henderson opened her gym in May. The partial street closure began in September, and business tanked 20 percent since then and even more the following month, she said.
A portion of Broadway will be fully shut down starting Saturday. Henderson said Cardio Barre will likely have to close.
She said Metro, which is behind the transit project, has offered her little financial help.
“I told them you’re bullying me out of my space. You pretty much wrapped a tarp around my location,” Henderson added.
Metro said a business must be open for at least two years to be eligible for any type of financial assistance because a business needs to show documented income over time to indicate the actual impact the construction has on the business.
A Metro spokesman called Cardio Barre’s situation unfortunate and said Metro is still committed to helping Henderson. He said metro had offered the “Eat, Shop, Play” campaign that uses social media to promote her business and provided a sign and a banner.
As Henderson prepares to close and tell customers to use other Cardio Barre locations, she hopes to warn other business owners for the future.