CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The impending widening of Independence Boulevard is leading to more problems for businesses along that stretch of road.
A now-empty building along the road has been a lot of things over the last 50 years, from a pizza place to a bar and most recently as The Flower Hut.
Richard Marshall’s family owns the property and was getting a nice rent check until this year when The Flower Hut owners were forced to leave because the Department of Transportation is planning to take all the roadway in the front to use for the widening of Independence Boulevard.
Now abandoned, thieves have been feasting on what's left.
“Even their auditor who came out and gave estimates said after they took footage it wouldn't be a retail space anymore and the building would be condemned,” Marshall said. “They did get inside, pulled all the ceiling tiles down, pulled the copper wiring out of the ceiling."
The tire shop next door was also hit five weeks ago.
Bo Ruckett runs it and suspects the same thieves got him, stealing $12,000 worth of stuff a few weeks ago.
“It’s bad. They’re living there, looking for places to break into around there,” Ruckett said.
Both men say the widening project is robbing them of their livelihoods one way or another.
“They’re taking advantage of us,” Marshall added.
Ruckett has owned the tire place 17 years and is hoping his shop will make it but said he knows it’s a long shot over the next few years.