Longtime business on Freedom could be forced out because of prop - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Longtime business on Freedom could be forced out because of proposed gas station

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

There's a revitalization going on at Freedom and Morehead in Charlotte. But as a new business looks to move in, a long time establishment might have to move out.

"Progress - you can't beat it. It keeps on going" says Tom Hudson of Hudson Body Work. "Everything is changing around here."

Hudson's shop is located behind Pinky's West Side Grill. The owner of the property wants to sell to Quick Trip. The proposed gas station/convenience store would mean Hudson - in that location since 1968 - would have to move out.

"We kinda expected it. It still hits you all of a sudden. You're never really ready for it" Hudson says.

The 69 year old says he has been bracing for this because he's been watching as new businesses move in to the neighborhood.

A Dunkin Donuts is planned at the intersection, a new apartment complex recently opened. And the community association says more developments are planned.

Freedom and Morehead is seeing a growth spurt.

"It's the proximity to downtown. It's also the proximity to the greenway, to the parks and other amenities" says Shannon Hughes, president of Wesley Heights Community Association.

Hughes says a lot of young families are moving in so they would like to see more restaurants. He says Freedom has seen a lot of revitalization. And according to Hughes, the city has cleaned up the area, done some roadway beautification with street lights and night lamps.

"It will be more dense population cluster that hopefully will spur retail and businesses along Morehead and Freedom"

While some residents are looking forward to a gas station moving in, others are not in favor of the proposed Quick Trip at the corner of Freedom and Morehead.

"Wesley Heights is one of the cities best kept secrets. It's a wonderful neighborhood. We are a historic district" says Elizabeth Sweet, who lives in the area. "The proposal as it stands do not fit overall with scale and pedestrian nature of the neighborhood. It would bring in a lot of traffic, open 24-7 which is not appealing."

Quick Trip executives will attend the Wesley Heights Community Association meeting Tuesday evening.

"They want to get feedback from the neighborhood - pros, open dialogue, pros and cons of this - said if they didn't get neighborhood blessing, they would not move forward and try to re-zone" says Hughes, of the Wesley Heights Community Association.

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