The Arizona Republic wrote an article recently about the plight of Fez Restaurant as it struggles to remain successful with the dramatic drop in business associated resulting from the construction of the Phoenix Light Rail line.
Tom Jetland, owner of FEZ, a great little neighborhood restaurant with a Moroccan flair located along Central Avenue south of Indian School Road said FEZ's business is down $150,000 from last year despite efforts to bring in customers through a city-funded program that mailed out 3,000 cards to existing and potential customers. "Early on, I was a big proponent (of light rail), but I am starting to feel the pinch, and I'm starting to get a bit anxious," Jetland says.
Civic leaders, city planners, real estate agents, and developers rave that the light rail will give an important boost to the central corridor economy and in helping the city cope with the explosive growth and congestion in metro Phoenix. They also say that the December 2008 opening of the rail will be a huge boon to area businesses.
What evidence do they have to support this opinion? Many look at the success of the Dallas light rail as a model for Phoenix's future. Property values around the twenty mile light rail system in Dallas have jumped twenty five percent over comparable properties in areas not accessible to the rail. More importantly for Fez and other area business, after just one year retail sales jumped nearly thirty three percent along the Dallas light rail system compared to just three percent in other areas!
I sure hope that these experts are right. But until the rail opens, please visit the small area restaurants like FEZ and Alexis (ON CENTRAL AVENUE JUST NORTH OF OSBORN ROAD), and help them stay afloat while enjoying their great food and service.
To see the Republic article to to: http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/1112biz-bizaz-lightrail1113-ON.html