CHARLOTTE — An Asian market in east Charlotte is shutting down after nearly 30 years in business.
The edge of NoDa will no longer be home for the International Supermarket. Instead, employees were packing up the last of the inventory, and the store will donate their remaining items and relocate out of state.
Most of the stores at the Asian Corner Mall, which is where the market is, are locked up, and many owners say they were forced out of their leases early. Several business owners said this all started on Christmas Day when a water pipe burst at the complex. They’ve been closed ever since.
The debris left behind are still there and, just recently, the Charlotte Fire Department posted signs saying it’s too unsafe.
It’s disappointing news for customers like Louis Mack, who visits from Columbia, South Carolina several times a month to get supplies for his Filipino food truck. Now, he said he’s on the hunt to find someplace new.
“We were stunned because we do a lot of our shopping there and now we’re forced to go other places,” Mack said.
The site is surrounded by potholes and fast-paced development. Permit filings indicate plans to replace the current building with office and commercial space, as well as apartments -- at least on part of the site.
Some neighbors fear they may be next.
“You forcing the poor out. That’s all you doing, forcing the poor out,” one tenant said.
International Supermarket anchored the mall for the last several years. Now, they’re focused on their move to Florida, but Mack is worried they’ll never be replaced.
In a statement to our news partners at the The Charlotte Observer, the fire department said it closed down the Asian Corner Mall due to inoperable fire safety systems. The property owner said they’re working with the fire department to keep tenants and their patrons safe.
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