Independence Business Operators Hit with Double Edge Sword - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Independence Business Operators Hit with Double Edge Sword

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

It was supposed to be a game changer. The new Wal-Mart on East Independence  is attracting more than customers,  it's also  attracting crime.  

Larcenies, forgeries, and disturbances are listed all by CMPD. Officers have logged more than 360 events, since the first of this year.

Crime may be one concern in this part of town, but there's another issue.

Paul Williams is a survivor. "Everyone thought if  Wal-Mart put up a store that will attract other businesses. It just hasn't happened," he said.

His Earth Angel bikini shop is one of two businesses that's still left in the old Coliseum Center strip mall.

So far, no ripple effect of new stores from his next door neighbor, but Williams offers another theory.

"It seems that the Independence project is in limbo even though they're starting construction on the next piece. It has just dragged out for years and years.

At large city council member David Howard remembers better times along this heavily traveled corridor, but he's optimistic about a new state road funding plan that may put this highway back on the fast track.

He said, "Independence actually scores really high, so it may give us an opportunity to jump start that process and not do what's been done all of my life at a mile at a time every 10 years."

Howard says the goal is to complete the thoroughfare with a series of exits, at much a quicker pace.

Ongoing construction has businesses near Sharon Amity caught between a rock and a hard place.

Since the work on the highway has started some are taking chances, the Anthony Winstead opened the Razor's Edge Barbershop.

"I'm just getting here hoping for the best...hoping for loyal customers that will get here no matter what," Winstead said.

And back at Earth Angel, Paul Williams plans to ride it out.

"When there's just road construction, sometimes it just takes so long that a lot of businesses don't survive."

Failing to survive brings a sign that says Space Available.

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