Battle brewing over parking in Ballantyne

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Business owners in Ballantyne said a battle over parking is costing them money.
 
Last year, Vision Ventures bought the struggling Ballantyne Village from developer Bob Bruner.
 
But Bruner still owns some of the parking lots and a parking deck.
 
Business owners said Bruner is going to great lengths to keep them and their customers from parking on his land, but they said the lack of parking is hurting their bottom line.
 
Parking in Ballantyne Village was already hard to find at peak hours.
 
Now, the escalating battle over parking is making it worse.
 
Bruner recently fenced off his two lots that customers used for years with about 60 spots and business owners said part of the parking deck with even more spaces is off limits too.
 
“It’s just really sad,” said Vidas Cikotas who lives next door. “He’s got the parking and he gates it off and has even towed people.”
               
Sources said the new owners have tried to lease parking from Bruner but can't reach a deal.
 
Outland Cigar Manager Mark Boley said the parking battle is hurting these locally owned small businesses.
 
Bruner said there are liability issues with letting village customers use his lots and deck and Vision Ventures said there is still ample parking.
 
But Cikotas said the whole thing just looks bad for an already struggling shopping center with vacant store fronts.
 
He wishes Bruner would take down the fences.
 
Vision Ventures said they have 600 spaces at Ballantyne Village besides the blocked off lots.