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Texas

Construction in Alta Vista will affect local convenience store

Oscar De La Tienda’s shelves are filled with favorites from San Antonio and Texas.

Cynthia Gomez is the owner. She named the store after her father.

“We were supposed to close on his birthday, so I knew I had to have a name that had Oscar in it,” Gomez said.

Gomez said it was a reflection of the Alta Vista neighborhood that surrounds it.

An area currently occupied by a large construction site extending down Flores from Russell Pl to Ashby Pl.

“So, out of 18 months, 12 of them were, all of almost 12 of them were one or more, or all roads were blocked,” Gomez said.

Since reopening in 2021, the roads surrounding her store have been taken down for needed repairs, and Gomez said this is impacting her bottom line.

“This is a convenience store. The profit is really small and you need to sell a lot of chips to pay your water bills. And we just don’t have that kind of traffic,” she said.

The city of San Antonio recently approved more than $2 million from the federal American Rescue Plans Act for eligible businesses affected by construction, but Gomez said her store was not compliant.

“This is federal money that is tied to COVID grants. And since we weren’t open in 2020 or 2019, we don’t qualify for that either. We are opening in the last quarter of 2021,” Gomez said.

Neighbors like Brandon McKelvey, who lives in the middle of a construction site, said they were fed up too.

“I can’t take out the trash. It was a month when it didn’t come at all. And I have to walk through my neighbor’s yard to get to my car,” McKelvey said.

Megan Burrows and her two boys have said they can no longer walk around the area due to the closures.

“We love to play in San Pedro Springs Park, so we used to pass by a wine cellar on our way there or back, or both, and now we can’t. So we need to go all the way and go on a busy road,” Burroughs said.

They also worry about the shop next door, nervous that their lifeline won’t survive due to what seems like endless construction.

“If this construction jeopardizes this, it will certainly affect us,” Burroughs said.

“Now it’s like being a little pillar of our little mini community. So yes, it will be a huge loss,” McKelvey said.

According to Public Worksthe project is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Improve the drainage system, reconstruct the street, reconstruct sidewalks and curbs.

Gomez said she knows the project is important but wishes something could be done to help her neighbors and her business.

Copyright 2023 by KSAT – All rights reserved.

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