UPDATE: Family Starts Petition To Save Shopping Center Slated to - FOX 35 News Orlando

UPDATE: Family Starts Petition To Save Shopping Center Slated to be Torn Down for I-85 Project

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A Concord family has started a petition to try and save a shopping center built by their immigrant father more than 20 years ago. Tower Plaza is slated to be torn down as part of the I-85 widening project and realignment of Kannapolis Highway.

Tower Plaza is home to El Vallarta Mexican Restaurant, Fitness for Her, a tanning salon, and five other businesses. 82 year old Andy Basile came to the United States from Italy when he was 25 years old. He moved to Concord and ran Villa Maria restaurant for years in the Carolina Mall, and then later he helped build the Tower Plaza shopping center across from the mall.

Basile was devastated to learn of the DOT’s plan to take his shopping center. Basile said, “I told them, if they do this, they're going to take the dirt under my feet. They're going to bury me live. That's not right. That's not right for my family. I care for my family. I got three kids.”

The DOT’s engineer with the project was out of the office Friday, so the agency could not give us specific details related to the project. A spokesperson told us, in general, what the DOT considers when making decisions that affect property owners. DOT spokesperson Jen Thompson said, “When we design a project, we have to consider a lot of factors like existing conditions, environmental impact, right of way acquisition, any endangered species in the corridor, wetlands, floodplains, historic properties, etc.”

Thompson went on to say, “Of course, unfortunately some properties are directly impacted and completely acquired, and others may only be partially affected or not at all. It depends on the final design layout, and it’s not a task we take lightly because we know circumstances like this one do arise.”

The Basile family will be compensated for the land.

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