Plaza Midwood business owner says nearby construction forced him to close market

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Catch-On Seafood Market off of Hawthorne Lane was in business less than a year and is already planning on closing its doors.

Sean Schussler, who is the business owner, claims the closure is due to the construction project which is happening down the street from his business.

The CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar project has construction crews renovating the Hawthorne Lane bridge, which connects Plaza Midwood to Elizabeth. Because of the bridge construction, part of Hawthorne Lane has been blocked off.

"When your passion is crushed by something you can't control, that is when you realize that life is hard," Schussler said.

He said he ultimately made the decision to close the business after revenue had started declining. He said many of his regular customers had trouble getting to the market because of the construction in the area.

"People were telling us 'we can't get to you. It's too difficult'," Schussler said.

He said he didn't think he would have to deal with the construction trouble he faced. He claims city officials told him the bridge would still be usable even if construction needed to be done.

"I was told to my face that the bridge would not be closed, it would just be essentially positioned to where it was still going to be an artery," he said.

Charlotte's communication office referred questions about the topic to Charlotte Area Transportation Systems (CATS) Tuesday.

Juliann Sheldon, who is a community relations specialist from CATS, sent WBTV the following information:

The project staff work with business owners every day to mitigate concerns of construction.

Schussler said he never spoke with a representative from CATS when he was inquiring about the construction. He said he got a different message when he reached out to the city.

"I didn't talk with CATS and maybe that's where I should of went, but as a lowly business man out here what is it you're to do?" Schussler asked.

He said closing the business not only hurts him, but also hurts his employees and the fishermen he would buy fish from. "(It's) probably one of the hardest things to do because I don't quit. I don't like to quit. At the end of the day it's a scenario which will bring a tear to my eye."

He said he hopes to reopen the business in some capacity sometime in the near future.

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