by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:
CHARLOTTE - A popular grocery store in South End will close its doors this weekend to make way for a massive new development project that will bring 1,000 more apartments to the area.
Next month, city officials will hold a public hearing on the rezoning of the Healthy Home Market and Sedgefield Shopping Center, which will be leveled to make way for a Harris Teeter, Starbucks, restaurants, retail and office space.
The owner, Marsh Properties, said the 60 acre project will also include demolishing existing duplexes built in the 1950s to allow for construction of 980 apartments and townhomes.
"Our vision for this is to have a neighborhood center that really serves the urban dweller of today," said owner Jamie McLawhorn.
The Harris Teeter will join the Publix that is being built just a block up the road, and along with the sprawl of new apartments in the area has some residents worried historic South End is losing its identity.
"We have enough apartments and big chain grocery stores. We have enough of that," said customer Allene Dean.
Dean said she will go out of her way to drive to Healthy Home Market's new location in Plaza Midwood, planned to open by Labor Day.
"It saddens me to see this coming because all of this is just gonna be gone," Dean said.
The store's owner said he will lose nearly twenty percent of his employees in the move.
"We kind of felt like we were a stakeholder in historic South End, we were here a long time, things kinda grew up around us...now, after ten years, it doesn't look like there's any room for us," said John Bauer.