Businesses move to make way for light rail extension - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Businesses move to make way for light rail extension

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Several businesses in the University City area of Charlotte are preparing to relocate so the city can make way for the light rail extension.

The Blue Line extension will go to UNC Charlotte by 2017. Construction will start in the spring.  That means businesses in the train's path will have to go elsewhere.

Inside Nona's Bakery, the boxes are packed and the moving signs are up.

Anthony Morlando's family moved the bakery to the corner of J.W. Clay Boulevard and North Tryon street in University City street 3 years ago.

Business was thriving.

But last Fall, the family learned the bakery and three other businesses in the same parking lot will have to move to make room for the light rail's Blue line extension.  

"We can't service our clients, and staff is off for a couple of weeks, so it's tough," said Morlando.

The city plans to demolish the building and build a parking lot and stop for the light rail.

The 1.16  billion dollar project will extend the light rail from 7th street through uptown up to UNC Charlotte.   

Students say they're looking forward to more transportation options.

"It would be convenient for some people who live there, they wouldn't have to use so much money for taking the bus," said one student.

"I think it would be good, to definitely go uptown on the weekends,'" said another student.

The city helped compensate the businesses with free rent for a few months and paid moving expenses.

The owners of Nona's Bakery say moving is no fun, but they're optimistic the changes will be good for the area in the long run.

 "I think the light rail servicing the university and connecting the uptown is a positive thing," said Morlando.

The bakery will move into the Shoppes at Worthington on W.T. Harris Boulevard and reopen on March 4th.

The last business will move  in April. Demolition is expected to start in May.

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