HOUSTON – A restaurant owner in the Montrose area says a nearby construction project has caused so many problems for her business that she could be forced to shut down.
On a typical Saturday at Teala's Mexican Restaurant, there's very little down time.
"We're packed, we have a waiting line," said owner Teal Anomaiprasert.
But on this Saturday afternoon outside the restaurant, business wasn't booming. Construction was.
"I've lost customers," said Anomaiprasert. "I've lost business. I've lost my health because I worry so much."
This Mexican restaurant has been a staple on West Dallas for 21 years, but new development in the area has crippled her once thriving business.
"It's been difficult since the construction started," said Anomaiprasert.
The Sovereign at Regent Square, a 21-story apartment building has been in the works for nearly two years, and it's behind schedule. All that time has taken a toll on Teala's.
"Every day I don't know when I get up in the morning, what I'm going to be faced with. That's the major thing," said Anomaiprasert.
This weekend things got even worse.
"It's the final knockout blow," said attorney Jason Gibson. "The final punch."
J.E. Dunn Construction crews shut down West Dallas to remove the largest mobile crane in Texas. It forced Teala’s to close its doors through the weekend, too.
"It's a true David vs. Goliath story," said Gibson. "They're doing what they want to do, when they want to do it, without a regard for their neighbors."
It's why Gibson helped Teala’s file a lawsuit against the construction company. They want compensation for lost revenue.
"My family, my staff, we all depend on this place," said Anomaiprasert.
J.E. Dunn sent KHOU 11 News this statement:
"J. E. Dunn strives to minimize the impact of its construction operations on adjacent properties and businesses. J. E. Dunn contacted the businesses that would be most affected by the tower crane both prior to its erection and in preparation for its removal to ensure that they were well informed at each stage and to discuss opportunities to minimize any impact. It is never J. E. Dunn’s intention or desire to inconvenience any of its fellow Houstonians. Unfortunately, construction is disruptive by nature, and impacts cannot always be avoided. J. E. Dunn has worked diligently with the City of Houston to ensure the tower crane at issue is dismantled in a manner that causes the least possible impact on the surrounding businesses and residents. The City has issued a permit authorizing the closure of West Dallas Street from 6:00 p.m. on June 6, 2014 to 5:00 a.m. on June 9, 2014. The tower crane will be dismantled in safe, prudent and efficient manner, and West Dallas Street will be re-opened by 5:00 a.m. on Monday morning."
Meanwhile, Teala's owner said she's not anti-construction. She knows it will bring in business when it's over. Her concern now is making sure her restaurant survives until then.
"We are little people," said Anomaiprasert. "They don't care much about us. Honestly they don't."