AUSTIN (KXAN) — Driving up and down the northern section of the Burnet Road Corridor near Q2 Stadium and The Domain, construction sites are not uncommon.
However, for longtime businesses in the area, it’s a fairly new change. Those at Lighting Incorporated have called Burnet Road home since 1994.
“Back in ’94, it was just us, IBM, and J. J. Pickle Research Campus and we were kind of out here on our own,” said Gabriel Trinidad, the general manager at Lighting Inc. “Kind of crazy,” he said.
In the last year, things have changed. What was once an empty plot of land behind the store is now Austin FC’s home — Q2 Stadium. June will mark a year since the stadium opened.
While Trinidad said he loves soccer, it’s the construction and the developments that have followed and are on the way that concerns him.
“I’m a big sports guy, I went to the home opener, and it’s important, I think, for people to understand that,” he said. “But small businesses like us, while this development ends up happening around you it truly does squeeze you as hard as you possibly can.”
Just in the surrounding area, there are a handful of construction sites. Data from our news partners at the Austin Business Journal show there are at least six projects in the works. That does not account for projects that have already been completed.
Two of those projects expected to break ground later this year will go right next to Q2 Stadium — Verde Square and Arena Tower. Developments that people at former neighboring businesses said had already had an impact on them, including forcing Rent Equip to move two years ago.
At the lighting store, they worry as the area continues to grow their business could get priced out.
“When development like this happens to you next door, what ends up happening is your business suffers through the construction phase,” Trinidad said. “We have a spend two, three times as much money, keeping our facilities clean, while all this dirt and all this construction is actually happening during that. So there are all these factors, your business is interrupted from the time that they started all the way to when it’s finally finished. And now you deal with all the crowd portion of what ends up happening.”
Trinidad said now they work around Austin FC’s schedule and close early on game days to help employees and their customers avoid the influx of traffic.
CapMetro is working on developing a new MetroRail station at Q2 Stadium. They expect to break ground on the rail station this summer.