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Kansas City’s Main Street mess is impacting local businesses

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The KC streetcar extension from Union Station to the University of Missouri – Kansas City still has a lot of work to do until it’s ready for operation in early 2025.

While the tracks are being laid from Union Station to south 36th Street, the massive project is really hurting some local businesses.

Mary Johnson is the manager of Fragrance World at 37th and Main. Tracks have been laid outside the business, but the lane is still closed to cars. Barricades and orange cones sit outside, welcoming those who figure out where to park.

“It’s really difficult because there’s nowhere to park our customers, and it’s a mess out there,” he said.

Another problem is the ever-changing driving lanes. Johnson said it’s dangerous and scary, especially at night.

“It’s like an obstacle course,” he said.

Johnson said eight businesses on Main Street have closed in recent months. While he can’t say whether the tram expansion project is to blame, he suspects it is a factor. As for sales, he said Fragrance World is making a fifth of what he would have made in normal years.

“We have to pay the mortgage, the electricity bill, our shares and we have far fewer customers. So, it’s making it harder to continue functioning as we should be,” she said.

Further south near 40th and Main, Christina Decker isn’t doing so badly. Work on the streetcars has only started in the last year and she said she has only hit it twice: once when crews had to work on water lines and once when crews hit a river line. gas on Tuesday.

“Oher than what we are advocating. Could it probably be more sales? YES.”

But he said it will be worth it in the long run when he’s able to hop on a streetcar and head to KC Current’s new stadium near River Market.

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