[img id="76816" align="alignleft"] The University has informed owners of stores and restaurants in Harper Court that they must relocate their businesses or close entirely and vacate the complex by January 31.
When the University purchased the shopping center in May, it privately informed the business owners that the University would not guarantee the businesses occupancy in Harper Court beyond the end of 2008, said Bruce Kyes, owner of Plants Alive, a florist shop in Harper Court.
He said that while the order to vacate Harper Court is not surprising to the business owners, some customers were not expecting the news.
“I think the customers are concerned about losing neighborhood business,” Kyes said. “It benefits the community to have viable businesses in a group like [the one] in Harper Court.”
Although there was a sense of general disappointment among Plants Alive customers who had been informed of the store’s impending closure, few were angry over the store’s fate.
Plants Alive opened in 1965 and is the only remaining business of the original Harper Court shops. With Harper Court closing at the end of January, plans for the business’s future are undecided.
“It would be nice if we could stay in business here or somewhere else,” Kyes said.
Kyes would like Plants Alive to stay in Hyde Park but would consider relocating to a neighboring community if necessary, he said.
Kyes does not have any personal feelings about the University’s decision ,but he feels that the decision is business-related.
“I feel it is more of a financial decision on part of the University,” he said.