Local News

Local business booted out by second phase of Hillsborough Street project

Posted November 23, 2015

— 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.


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  • Jerry Crawford Nov 24, 2015
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    I travel Hillsborough Street every weekday to and from work and I believe that if you want to increase pedestrian safety then you need to get them to obey the crossing signals and actually use the crossing areas. I see people every day ignore the crossing signals and walk right out in front of traffic as if they an stop instantly and then give dirty looks at the drivers when hey blow the horn to get them to look up from their cell phones!

  • Matt Wood Nov 24, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Anyone who can't figure out a simple traffic circle probably shouldn't be driving at all.

  • Matt Wood Nov 24, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    It does benefit taxpayers. The better Hillsborough Street and the surrounding area looks, more individuals and businesses will invest in the area (and more students will attend NCSU), and more taxes will be generated in the area to boost all other areas of Raleigh.

  • Marley Higgins Nov 24, 2015
    user avatar

    this doesn't have anything to do with pedestrian safety. it's nc state and (to a lesser extent) the city wanting to imbue hillsborough street with a small town, 'mayberry' feeling, pedestrian, small shops, something to rival franklin st in chapel hill. in no way does this benefit taxpayers, yet you'd better believe we're getting stuck with the bill.

  • Letha Book Nov 24, 2015
    user avatar

    "The road project is designed to slow traffic and increase pedestrian safety."

    The need to increase pedestrian safety is based on what? I could not find any info that indicates this is a need in this area. Seems that every little town to big city are installing these. In some areas, I see the convenience in others, it is just a waste of money. This intersection could have been left out of the circle business.

  • Larry Hatch Nov 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Soto has been a fair, helpful aid to students needing quality car repair. If you force them to the big chains on Western Blvd. and beyond, that is yet another pressure on student budgets. The big condos replaced a wonderful gas station and repair shop at Cameron Village that was needed by the local community. This is all about greed, superficial aesthetics, and making the practical businesses invisible. These auto shops do real good for ordinary people and somehow a fancy coffee shop peddling toxic high fructose drinks is considered an upgrade? How sad...

  • Susan Olvera Nov 23, 2015
    user avatar

    I used to live in this area and I can't stand those blasted traffic circles. They make no sense, are confusing, and I can't believe tax dollars were spent on them. I feel badly for Mr. Efthimiadis.

  • Tom Laurence Nov 23, 2015
    user avatar

    Sure.....the landlord had the right to sell the property to the City, but yet, another small business to be negatively affected by our fine Capital City. These round abouts already cause confusion ; I've witnessed many accidents, and many "almost accidents" because folks stop and start suddenly when approaching them. If you need a pedestrian crossing - put one in. These things are useless, of course in my opinion (as this is an opinion board).