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Cville Construction Boom Affecting Local Businesses - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Cville Construction Boom Affecting Local Businesses

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Charlottesville's skyline is quickly changing with new developments. A record money-making year for building permits means hard-hat crews are hard at work.

The building boom is great news for the city's bottom line, but it's creating a challenge for some longtime businesses.

The city issued nearly $51 million in new building permits between July and September - $10,711,109 in July, $13,400,274 in August, and $26,586,323 in September. That doesn't even include a new hotel's construction. 

Tuesday, one business in the way of growth argues things are getting too crowded.

Lois Mundie has styled clients along West Main Street at Shear Power salon for 40 years.

"We've been in this location since June 29, 1989," said Mundie. 

A wrecking ball claimed Shear Power's first salon across from its current home in Republic Plaza.

"We stood at this window and watched the old building come down for growth," said Mundie.

That growth is forcing Mundie to uproot again. Developers want to demolish the plaza to build a 192-unit student apartment complex. That's right across the street from 200 student apartments already under construction.

"There's going to be a lot of construction activity. It's going to be a little inconvenient at times," said Jim Tolbert, director of Charlottesville Neighborhood Development Services.

The city set a record with $220 million worth of building permits issued last fiscal year.

"The current year is starting off really well, too. It looks like things are turning around," said Tolbert.

Spray paint on pavement marks the spots where Marriott will begin construction Monday on a 124-room hotel on West Main Street near the downtown mall. At the mall's other end, the City Walk development is now leasing more than 300 apartments in Belmont.

"There's a demand for housing, and I think more people want to live in the city. So, we're seeing housing for people who want to live in the city," said Tolbert.

Moving all those buildings in is a blow to Mundie's business.

"It's going to be very costly for me to uproot my business again to move to a new location," said Mundie.

She worries the new view will crowd out the neighborhood's long-time clientele.

"I think it's too much. I think this area is going to be too congested. I think it will actually hurt the businesses on West Main," said Mundie.

City Council is expected to consider the Republic Plaza demolition early next month. The city is beginning to develop a design plan to reinvent the view pedestrians and drivers see along West Main Street as developers change the scenery. 

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