Friday afternoon Chris Tarczali, stood in an empty storefront, stripped from walls to floor. Three days ago it was home to America Hustle, a printing and fashion business he helped build from the ground up.
“It makes me feel saddened. I’ve been here for three years, I was here on K street building a business before the Kings were even sold,” said Tarczali.
He tells FOX40 his landlord more than tripled his rent as he went to negotiate a new lease.
“He’s just basically saying the property value is going to go up around here because the Kings are coming and they want to get more money,” said Tarczali.
In the last month, several shops have moved out of that block and some have been vacant long term. Chris believes other businesses are struggling with increasing rents because of the Golden 1 Center just three blocks away.
One sign on the window blames “urban development” for the closing for a hair salon.
“It’s going to be more corporate, there’s not going to be no mom and pop businesses that made K Street what it is,” said Tarczali.
FOX40 spoke with several local business owners who were aware of the increasing rents. However, their circumstances depend on their landlords, and not all had complaints.
“We feel pretty good about it. We’re very excited to be in the neighborhood for the arena opening,” said Demetri Gregorakis.
As co-owner of Blackbird, he says his restaurant was able to negotiable a favorable multi-year lease. However he is concerned about what will happen if other local businesses are priced out.
“The arena will bring in a certain more suburban clientele downtown anyway but what we like about downtown is the grit, the art and the creativity and hopefully we don’t loose that,” said Gregorakis.