Safety concerns for new uptown structures during DNC

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It is one of the first tangible signs that appearances are starting to change in Center City Charlotte.

The framing is up on the American Presidential Experience at Third and Graham, and other new building structures are taking shape in the uptown area.

That raises the questions of safety.

Deputy Fire Chief Rob Kinniburgh is among decision makers with a voice in our city's safety plan for next month's Democratic National Convention, and tells WBTV that they have 35 people doing fire prevention work in Charlotte during the convention.

"We'd like to meet with the developer, the promoter beforehand. Get an idea of what they want to do. Give them an idea of what they can do." Kinniburgh said.

Much of the work being done at Time Warner Cable Arena is being kept under wraps, and WBTV's Steve Crump spent part of the afternoon at the county's building permits office hoping to learn what changes may be underway for the convention venue.

Construction workers can be seen on the street, but Damion Johnson can hear the noise that they're making in his No Grease Barbershop, which is on the ground floor of the arena.

"The noise is nothing compared to the inconvenience when it comes to parking. Some of our clients having access to get down here. This is just the beginning." Johnson told WBTV Thursday.

Deputy Chief Kinniburgh says his inspectors plan to visit at least a hundred sites and events during the convention.

He also sites another dynamic, "The security that surrounds them. The President, members of Congress and the House is what makes a lot of this challenging."