Local business booted out by second phase of Hillsborough Street project
Posted November 23, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Progress continues to make its way down Raleigh's Hillsborough Street, but one small business owner is being forced out as the city plans to install a new roundabout.
Hillsborough Street Phase II will add three new roundabouts on the western end of the street, in addition to the two currently in place. The $13 million project will take a chunk out of a few businesses' parking lots, and Soto's Auto Repair Shop, at 3120 Hillsborough Street, will be forced to close.
"I'm angry," said shop owner Soto Efthimiadis. "Of course I am angry. This is my life. I feed my family, my wife, my three children."
The road project is designed to slow traffic and increase pedestrian safety.
Efthimiadis does not own the land, so he will not make any money from the deal. He said he is concerned about his employees and their families.
"The bad thing is, we have been here so long we have got a clientele, and if we move 5, 6, 8, 10 miles, it's kind of like starting over again," he said.
WRAL News asked to speak with a city spokesperson to learn more about what the city does to mitigate losses such as Efthimiadis', but the request was denied. According to a spokesperson, an agreement with the property owner had been reached.
"I think they are making a big mistake - that's what I think," Efthimiadis said. "They will realize that later down the road."
The landlord has offered to help Efthimiadis relocate his business. A contract will likely be awarded for the work in 2016, and the project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2017.