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Charlotte demolishing buildings to make way for Blue Line Extension

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Blue Line Extension project is now in its next phase.

Officials with the Charlotte Area Transit System have begun demolishing some of the buildings the City of Charlotte acquired to make room for the 9-mile extension.

The light rail will extend from Seventh Street in Uptown to North Davidson, North Tryon and to the University City Area.

According to a CATS spokesperson - of the 300 parcels of land the city acquired – 11 parcels have a total of 19 buildings that need to be torn down.

Demolitions started on Friday at Clay Corner – where a parking garage will be built - at the intersection of North Tryon and J.W.Clay Boulevard.

That's where Nona's Sweets and Bakery used to be. 

WBTV stopped in to see if relocation has affected the family business.

"I'm still angry. It's frustrating to see something you work so hard for" says Dominica Clementi. "You obviously put money into the building and not being able to recoup those funds. It's very frustrating that those personal savings are demolished pretty much."

Clementi says Nona's Bakery re-opened in March after the city forced the landlord at Clay Corner to sell.

Clementi says business has suffered at the new location at Shops at Worthington, which is off West W.T. Harris Boulevard.

 "I just think it's change – that people are having a hard time knowing where we went" she says. "I just think every time people go by and see the building has gone, see a closed up shop – they think negatively that we've gone out of business."

City officials say they had to acquire the parcels of land because they need to expand roadways, build light rail stations, parking garage, and park and ride lots. The demolitions are expected to be completed at the end of summer.

 CATS says the light rail project is on schedule to open in 2017.

Businesses were forced to move in the best interest of the city.

But Clementi says the forced relocation has not been in her best interest. She says business is down.

"Yeah, we're a little nervous" she says. "We had a plan. We know what the numbers were going to look like if we stayed at that existing location and now it's like starting all over again."

Clementi says Nona's Bakery Cafe has the same phone number and web site, and is on social media.

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