HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WBRC) - The project to spruce up 18th Street in Homewood is moving right along, but the owner of Rob’e Mans Automotive hopes it doesn’t move into his property.
Eddie Cleveland says for the past two years, the city has been asking to purchase two to three feet of his property.
“Then they said they didn’t need any property and now that they’ve come back and said they are going to need property back. It’s going to be four or five feet. They’re wanting to take all these vehicles and move them back five feet so the point that there’s no way this business can function that way,” Cleveland said.
Across the street, parking has been constructed which is a part of the 18th Street beautification project. Cleveland hopes his side will not look like this. He says appraisers have been on his property even though he’s not willing to sell yet. They mentioned to him the city could use eminent domain and take it over. That is something Homewood City Council President Peter Wright says is not on the table right now.
“The city council makes that decision. There’s not an appetite for it and there are some other options available to make the construction work successfully that we can fall back on,” Wright said.
Cleveland says parallel parking could be the best option for everyone. He hopes the city will allow business owners along 18th Street to have a say.
“I just wish it could be face to face and we could get it all worked out and not me have to chase them,” Cleveland said.
“We certainly hope to work out things nicely with the business owners including Mr. Cleveland,” Wright said.
There’s going to be some new faces on the city council and a new mayor soon, so we’ll see how all of that plays out with this project.