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Impact of Epicentre's foreclosure still felt by Uptown businesses

Epic Times jewelry store hoped to last long enough to make a comeback under new Epicentre ownership, but debt has piled too high.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A popular Uptown jewelry store is the latest Epicentre business to close its doors as the massive property’s future remains in limbo.  

Epic Times jewelry store has been a diamond in the Epicentre since 2015. Now, time is ticking until Aug. 31when its lease is terminated and they have to be out for good. 

“We've kind of tried to work and do the best we can with what we had, but the Epicentre decided, you know, to pull the plug,” store owner James Mack shared.

Mack said his store hit new highs each year and was very successful, but when the pandemic came and the Epicentre foreclosed, foot traffic dried up and bills poured in. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: As the future of the Epicentre is up for debate, the original project architect reflects

"We were looking to make millions of dollars by this point," Mack said. "You could not tell me at that time that I would be making $0 at this point.” 

Epic Times owes $11,000 in back rent and is liquidating all of its jewelry to try to make up some of the loss.

Mack said he wanted to hold on and stay in the Epicentre long enough to be under new ownership, hoping that the positive news would bring customers back to the hub. However, the property's auction has been postponed twice and it's too late. 

RELATED: Epicentre auction delayed again: What we know

No reason has been given for the postponements, but the new auction date where interested parties can place bids on the Epicentre is Aug. 9

The existing businesses inside are hopeful new ownership will bring a resurgence to the area.

As for Mack, he’s not giving up on finding a new home for his store. 

"Someone out there will be able to help us regain our position in Uptown, Charlotte, and become a beacon of hope,” Mack said. 

There are still a handful of businesses operating in the Epicentre, and when a new owner takes over, they’ll be taking the property as-is.  

Contact Julia Kauffman at jkauffman@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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