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Posted: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2013
By Jim Bradley
CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
For 25 years, the project to widen Independence Boulevard has taken its toll on neighboring businesses.
Channel 9 learned Friday the impact will spread even further. The state has agreed to pay the owners of a shopping center $22.5 million for a big chunk of the property. The land will be used as part of a new interchange at Conference Drive. The owners of the shopping center have been quoted as saying they may eventually have to tear down what's left and start over. It's the latest blow to retail businesses along Independence. Steve Mavroidis, who runs a store nearby, wonders if shopping in the area will eventually be gone for good. "When we heard that, it was a little devastating to us because you know, sooner or later everybody is going to go like dominoes, you know, one by one we're going to start leaving," he said. North Carolina Department of Transportation officials said the bulk of the disruption to this shopping center won't happen for at least a year. The stores are expected to try to stay open for as long as they can. History has already shown that's a tough task in the middle of Independence construction.
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