Austin, Texas. October 1st, 2013.

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A sinkhole in a popular Austin shopping center is several feet deep, thanks to the weekend rains. It’s next to Zinger Hardware store in the Central Market shopping center on North Lamar Blvd.

A concrete sidewalk has caved in, leaving a gaping hole that’s 12 feet deep.

“There’s a metal pipe, that’s the storm drain, that just corroded over time, and it has just begun to collapse,” said Michael Ferweda, the owner of Zinger.

Ferweda says the problems started back in April. It was the weekend’s heavy rain though that was enough to make the ground fall in.

The storm drain pipe runds from North Lamar in the 4000 block, east, under the shopping center and empties into the pond in Central Park.

The chunk of land washed away from under the sidewalk and wound up in the pond.

The sidewalk has been blocked off since problems started 6 months ago, creating a tough situation for business.

“Having the walkways, having the access to our building cut off as long as it has been, absolutely it’s caused decrease in traffic, decrease in sales,” said Ferweda.

The sinkhole exposes the supportive pier structures under the building, but Ferweda says they’ve been told they are structurally sound, for now. He hopes customers will walk around the mess, until it’s all fixed.

Barshop and Oles is the company which owns the property. Ferweda says property management will be out at the site Monday to see what needs to be done.

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