• Matthews widening project puts homes, real estate deals in jeopardy

    By: John Paul


    MATTHEWS, N.C. - The Charlotte region has become one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.

    Once a For Sale sign is put in a yard, it typically won’t be there long.

    But the houses along John Street in Matthews aren’t selling. In fact, several deals have fallen through.

    The reason homeowners are having such a difficult time selling along John Street is because it’s scheduled to be widened. That project may take most of the land along John Street, including homes.

    Gary Dunn owns a home along the street and said he could lose it if the widening project goes through.

    “They said they’re going to wipe out all the way to the next property line. That’s a big swath,” Dunn said.

    One option that leaders looked at was a “superstreet” plan.

    There would have been paved areas for trucks to turn around and the state would have taken large pieces of land.

    After public backlash, the superstreet was scrapped.

    [PAST COVERAGE: Matthews superstreet project canceled; group continues its fight]

    The North Carolina Department of Transportation is looking at taking less land, but some homes will still be impacted.

    The uncertainty has potential buyers walking away.

    “A lot of people calling. The first thing they ask about is the John Street project,” real estate agent Alexis Gilmore said.

    “That’s the first thing they say?” anchor John Paul asked.

    “Yes,” Gilmore said.

    Gilmore said she added the widening project to MLS listings for transparency.

    [LINK: East John Street and Old Monroe Road Widening]

    But while the project has made a lot of buyers think twice, some are still trying to get a deal.

    “I have people interested, other people interested, but they’re being financed,” Gilmore said.

    That financing has created problems.

    Channel 9 spoke to one real estate agent who had two sales fall through because banks won’t give a loan when they don’t know if the house will be torn down by the state.

    With no concrete decision made on the widening project, homeowners may be stuck until a final plan is put forward.

    “The people that are living here a long period of time, that want to keep the quality of life here... hey, they can’t,” Dunn said.

    Next Up: