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Self-Storage Business Fights to Stay Open During Rail Construction in Honolulu

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Jim York, owner of Dillingham Blvd. Self Storage in Honolulu, is among a group of entrepreneurs whose businesses could be negatively impacted by a rail project planned by the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART). Although construction along Dillingham Boulevard won’t begin until next year at the earliest, business owners are bracing for the worst based on previous construction phases along the rail route. Some struggling business owners along the route have blamed construction for lost foot traffic and revenue, according to the source.

York is among a group of business owners working to facilitate communication with HART so local business operators are informed about progress and potential impacts, the source reported. York’s self-storage facility will host a June 14 meeting arranged by HART to discuss the project with business owners and hear their concerns. About 350 local businesses have been invited.

York told the source it’s important for business operators to understand the full extent of what the rail project entails, including the necessity to rework utility lines. “They have to move, for instance, the waterline to be able to do the electrical,” he told the source.

Among the discussion topics is the possibility of closing portions of Dillingham Boulevard at night to lessen the impact of construction on traffic during the day. HART officials believe such a move would cut construction time by 20 percent, the source reported.

Among the concerned business owners is Joey Suehisa, who co-owns Violet’s Grill. A previous Dillingham closure for renovation cost the 60-year-old restaurant more than 50 percent of its business, he told the source.

Flamingo Restaurant in the Pearl City area of Honolulu is among the local businesses that have closed as a result of the rail project, the source reported.

Dillingham Blvd. Self Storage is about 10 minutes from downtown and across from Honolulu Community College. The facility at 935 Dillingham Blvd. features a business center, a covered area for loading and unloading, individual door alarms, keypad entry, and video cameras. Services include 24-hour access, kayak storage, moving-truck rentals, and the sale of moving and packing supplies.

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