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City of Charlotte seeks to revitalize West Boulevard corridor

The City of Charlotte is making a $24.5 million investment into six areas identified as Corridors of Opportunity.

The City of Charlotte presented its plans for the West Boulevard corridor Thursday at an event at the City West Commons shopping center.

Restaurants and businesses in the area filled the parking lot, while the City of Charlotte put its plans to revitalize the area on display.

It’s part of the City of Charlotte’s Corridors of Opportunity program, which will invest $24.5 million into six areas of the city with a goal of creating long-lasting, positive impacts in the communities.

The six areas identified by the city as Corridors of Opportunity are West Boulevard, Freedom Drive/Wilkinson, Beatties Ford/Rozzelles Ferry, Graham Street/North Tryon, Sugar Creek/I-85, and Central Albemarle.

Victoria Watlington, Charlotte City Councilmember representing District 3, announced a multi-year commitment of $80,000 per year to support the West Boulevard Neighborhood Coalition, as well as other investments in the City West Commons shopping center and surrounding area.

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Zsa-Zsa Porter, co-owner of Exposed Vegan, is opening her new restaurant in the City West Commons shopping center in the next few days.

"Honestly as a Black woman, I feel like my role to play during this time and my business partner's role to play is to give back to this community,” Porter said. “There's several other places where we could have opened a restaurant in, but this is the place that we want to help."

Porter wants to expose all the myths that come along with a vegan diet and provide healthy, hearty meals to the surrounding community.

She also wants to be part of the change.

In the last two years, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has responded to multiple homicides and shootings along West Boulevard, some right across from the shopping center.

Porter isn’t letting that deter her from joining the movement to improve West Boulevard.

"I don't have fear in providing good things, and so with great power comes great responsibility, and it's my responsibility to come here where there's a need,” she said.

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In addition to attracting new businesses, the City of Charlotte is working with existing ones as well. Watlington said new owners of the Jack in the Box at the corner of West Boulevard and Remount Road have a total renovation in the works, and an uplift grant of $30,000 has been established to modernize the Mr. Jim’s Pizza and beauty salon.

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