Local deli owner thinks development will kill business

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- The owner of a local deli fears development around Raleigh's Cameron Village, and the expansion of the road that runs to it, could be the downfall of her business.

Alison Maxwell is co-owner of Community Deli on the corner of Oberlin Rd. and Van Dyke Ave. The century-old building that once served as a grocery store to historic Oberlin Village sits at the edge of the booming restaurant and shopping center.

To alleviate congestion along Oberlin Rd., city leaders have been drafting the Cameron Village Vicinity Area Plan that would include the road's expansion.

Maxwell said for the longest time she didn't think the development would affect the popular deli on the corner.

"We were kinda in denial I guess," she said. "And then you know this building started and they really started developing against the street and that's when the denial stopped and we realized that we might have to actually fight for the Community Deli."

City councilor Russ Stephenson told ABC11 in lieu of the city's current plan to add a center turning lane to Oberlin Rd., he proposed roundabouts. Specifically, he proposed adding a roundabout at the intersection in front of Community Deli that would allow the business to expand its sidewalk and create more outdoor seating.

When he took his plan to city staff, though, he said he was met with another idea.

"I ran it by the city staff and they said, 'Well, if we want to get moving vans into the neighborhood, we'd have to make this much bigger.'"

Stephens said, to his dismay, staff came back to him with a wider roundabout that ran right through the deli, requiring the building be torn down to build it.

Maxwell first learned of the proposal more than a year ago and has been crossing her fingers ever since it wouldn't be approved.

"It's living from day to day," she said. "This is our family's livelihood right now."

Stephenson said there are several proposals on the table for how to handle congestion on Oberlin Rd. He said city council could begin the process of reviewing those next spring.

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