CHARLOTTE, N.C.--Bruno Macchiavello is getting ready to open his Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant in a week. "We are just starting so I hope you know we get all that business from uptown and around here," said the co-owner of Viva Chicken.
Macchiavello hopes the City Council will approve a Capital Plan that includes 119 million dollars
to extend a starter street car line from Johnson C Smith University past his restaurant in Elizabeth, on the way to Presbyterian Hospital.
"I've been to this battle several times before...so I'm trying not to be disturbed by the current one," said Mary Hopper of University City Partners. Hopper says the one point one billion dollar Lynx Blue Line Extension to University City will generate taxes, jobs and new development as part of a 500-billion-dollar impact by 2035. "We have been through so many starts and stops and starts and
stops on this but the reality is, if they stop this then, somebody has to pay back all the money the feds have put in," Hopper said.
That's why Hopper is hoping for a $299 million grant from NCDOT. As she lobbies for light rail, Macchiavello supports the street car. "It would be more like a small town thing. I would like it better,
" he said. Now it's up to the Mayor and Governor to decide who will win the street car and light rail
On Wednesday, Johnson C. Smith School Officials and City Council members are planning an informational meeting.
Charlotte City Council members are expected to discuss the street car at a retreat this Thursday.