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Business Owners React to Possibilities of New Main Street Development

The City of Charlottesville is looking into "The Plaza on Main Street." It's a development some say will bring hundreds of residents to the area.

"I think there are two ways you can look at it," said Joseph Mills, the owner of Wahooptie Taxi Service. "You can take the short sided approach and say well I'm frustrated because I'm going to lose my business spot and it's great road frontage."

Mills will have to find a new home for his business but he said developing West Main Street was a part of his business vision for Charlottesville from the beginning.

"What Wahooptie was designed to do is do is to be a part of the city and grow with the city as the city grows and this is part of that transition and a part of that growth," he said.

The proposed building is a 219 unit residential space that adds density to midtown Charlottesville. The owner of 'Sweethaus' cupcakes, across the street, has no complaints about the possibility of extra business.

"I think it's fantastic that this stretch of West Main Street is finally getting some attention," said Tara Koenig, the owner of 'Sweethaus.' "Our cupcakes really appeal to everyone of all ages but especially students and I've heard they are considering student housing there so I think it will be wonderful for business and the neighborhood."

Koenig also said that from experience, previous West Main plans have failed to move forward, so she's not going to get too into the planning process just yet.

"I'm just going to keep my head down and keep going about business and baking cupcakes until I find out that the city and the public have approved it and then we'll get a little more excited about what's happening," she said.

In the end, both Koenig and Mills said it's all about what's best for the city.

"For us it really becomes more about, like, how we support the city," Mills said.
"Anything positive for West Main I think if good for all of Charlottesville," Koenig said.

The Planning Commission held a public hearing on the plans at 6:00 Tuesday night.


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