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Talk of larger Harris Teeter worries Myers Park residents

A rendering shows what a proposed Harris Teeter at Queens and Providence roads would look like once the store is enlarged. Plans call for a two-story store with a 29,500-square-foot ground floor and a 12,500-square-foot mezzanine level. But the larger store would have a smaller footprint and overall size than most Harris Teeters, the grocery store said.  Illustration courtesy of Harris Teeter

A rendering shows what a proposed Harris Teeter at Queens and Providence roads would look like once the store is enlarged. Plans call for a two-story store with a 29,500-square-foot ground floor and a 12,500-square-foot mezzanine level. But the larger store would have a smaller footprint and overall size than most Harris Teeters, the grocery store said. Illustration courtesy of Harris Teeter

Traffic. Parking.

Those are among the concerns of some in the Myers Park area, as Harris Teeter considers enlarging its grocery store in the neighborhood, converting it into two stories.

Patrick Dunmire, manager of Wolfman Pizza, which is in a shopping plaza next to Harris Teeter Express, said parking for the complex already can be hard to find thanks to a nearby church putting strain on the parking spaces.

“What we deal with most right now is congestion from parking,” he said.

But in a press release, Harris Teeter said it will work with nearby residents and “respond to their input” regarding plans to enlarge the store at Queens and Providence roads.

The intersection already is not an easy one to navigate, residents say.

Dunmire said that during rush hour, traffic is so heavy that he avoids the area altogether and, instead, takes smaller, neighborhood roads.

June Watts-Mistri, a Myers Park resident and president of the Amherst Place homeowners’ association, said traffic can be horrendous at the busy intersection. Like Dunmire, she is also concerned about parking.

“It will change the complexion of the corner quite a bit,” she said. “I thought it was pretty unfortunate. I think what it is now is fine. It’s an Express. You grab what you need. The diversity is nice. I like the idea of it being small.”

The Express store at 1015 Providence Road was built by its landlord more than 60 years ago. The small store limits the variety and selection Harris Teeter offers at its other locations, according to the statement from the grocery chain.

Harris Teeter’s proposed two-story store will include a 29,500-square-foot ground floor and a 12,500-square-foot mezzanine level, the press release says. The larger store would have a smaller footprint and overall size than most Harris Teeters, which average a footprint of 48,000 feet, the release says.

Jeff Brown of King & Spalding, a Charlotte attorney assisting Harris Teeter, said the project would improve parking and pedestrian safety “as well as improve the visual appearance by replacing the existing older buildings with a signature building.”

The company has not made any applications for the project to the city of Charlotte, but it has talked with neighborhood leaders about its plans.

“Harris Teeter has had discussions with its landlord, nearby residents and leaders of the surrounding neighborhoods about the possibility of building a new store that would provide its customers the level of shopping experience offered in other stores, while at the same time improving the quality and appearance of the existing shopping center,” the press release says. “The proposed store reflects an innovative redevelopment and building with exceptional architecture in keeping with the quality and traditions of the Eastover and Myers Park neighborhoods.”

Tara Ramsey can be reached at tara.ramsey@mecktimes.com.

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