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Revitalization coming to Charlotte’s West Corridor

Updated: Nov. 5, 2020 at 6:04 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -The City of Charlotte is excited to continue a partnership with the city’s six corridors.

The city is pumping $24.5 million into those corridors to revitalize those areas.

Several businesses showed up at the City West Commons Center ready to set up shop. That is located at West Blvd and Remount.

The city is offering $85,000 for businesses to renovate and for security upgrades. This plan has been three years in the making.

“Better late than never,” Vegan To Go Owner Denise Hairston said. “It’s happening now, so let’s all galvanize around it now and make it work for everybody.”

Hairston says her to go restaurant will open in about two weeks. She believes the city putting up money for business owners will make a difference.

The West Corridor is considered a food desert and filled with businesses that need renovations. She believes the healthy food she serves will make a huge impact on the neighbors.

“You can eat healthy food - it can be good to you and good for you,” she said. “...In this community so that we can try to help combat illness and disease in the African American community and the community that is underserved and in this community I really think we can change the way people think about their eating habits.”

City leaders say this is a promise that is in the works.

“We are on our way to making our promise,” District 3 Charlotte City Councilwoman Victoria Watlington said. “We’ve committed money. We’ve committed to the vision. We have committed to the West Charlotte playbook that was put together in partnership with our residents.”

Watlington says she wants to attract other diverse businesses to the West Corridor.

“In order to attract more businesses, we’ve got to show as a city and as a community that we are committed to their success,” the councilmember said.

The city will also provide a multi-year $80,000 a year commitment. That money will establish a West Boulevard Merchant’s Association. The funds will also help grow and cultivate youth programming at the Seeds for Change Farm.

“What we are doing today is going to make a difference for tomorrow,” Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles said. “But more importantly if you have been here a while - you remember when this was a thriving shopping center - it went through a little bit of a change but what we’re about is revitalization without gentrification.”

The concern now is will this help continue. Leaders agree the $24.5 million is not enough to sustain the improvement. City leaders say they are committed to make this plan work.

“Next budget season I think the council needs to put more money into what we are trying to do to revitalize corridors,” District 2 Charlotte City Councilmember Malcolm Graham said. “And begin to identify property owners who want to invest in these corridors.”

The city is also providing public Wi-Fi for people living in the neighborhood to use.

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