Business owner frustrated by plans for light rail extension

by: Erica Bryant Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After growing business for years, it seems Nona's Sweets could be soured by the Lynx Blue Line extension.

“We are devastated that the light rail is putting a parking deck where we currently are,” said Dominica Clementi with Nona's Sweets.

Clementi said the bakery and cafe she built with her mother, Nona, is one of more than a dozen businesses that will be bulldozed along North Tryon Street to make way for transit.

She called it frustrating, because they initially chose the location because of the light rail and was looking forward to increased sales when UNC Charlotte completes its football stadium just outside what would have been her front door.

Then, she said, the city switched course.

“We put our faith in what we were shown in the city meetings and put faith in the growth in the area and were very excited about it, then all of a sudden everything changed,” Clementi said.

Now, she said, the city will reimburse relocation costs, but not for everything they've invested in the building, projected revenues or lost business while they move.

“Nona's is here to stay,” Clementi said. “We're a tenacious group of people.”

Nona's wants customers to know they will have a new location nearby.

“We're not going out of business, we're simply relocating the shop (to a) bigger and better space and wanting to stay in the space that has helped us grow throughout the years,” Clementi said.