Business

Watch shop leaves Park Road Shopping Center as rents rise

Khue Pham (right) , owner of Time n’ Place, talks with customer Maria Cohen about the clock she brought in for repair Monday. He has moved the business to 303 East Woodlawn Road, Charlotte.
Khue Pham (right) , owner of Time n’ Place, talks with customer Maria Cohen about the clock she brought in for repair Monday. He has moved the business to 303 East Woodlawn Road, Charlotte. mhames@charlotteobserver.com

Discouraged by the rising rent, another small business has moved from Park Road Shopping Center and will be replaced by a national chain.

A Time n’ Place, a clock and watch repair store, moved from its Park Road Shopping Center space next to Subway to another spot at 303 E. Woodlawn Road last Thursday.

A sign in front of the 2,063-square-foot space says Juice Bar, a Nashville-based chain that sells smoothies and other drinks, will open in its place.

Khue Pham, the repair shop’s owner, said the business moved because rent at Park Road Shopping Center nearly doubled, increasing from $3,300 a month to $6,500, when the lease was up a couple of years ago.

He stayed at the current space on a month-to-month lease because he couldn’t find anyone to take over the site at the new rent.

With the new rent rate, plus the cost of utilities, Pham, whose store has operated at the shopping center for almost 24 years, said he’d be putting everything he made toward paying for the space.

“I’d have to make $7,500 (a month) to break even,” Pham said. “So that’s almost $100,000 in rent a year. No way can a small business like this make that.”

Edens, a Columbia-based developer, bought the shopping center in 2011, stoking fears that rents could rise and force out mom-and-pop stores, making way for national chains.

Some iconic small businesses have already left the center, including Roland’s Salon, which closed in fall 2013 after 57 years in business, and Piedmont Music Center, which moved from the shopping center around the same time after about 11 years.

Some national chains coming to the shopping center include Chopt, a New York-based salad company, as well as Co, a Charleston-based Asian restaurant.

According to its website, Juice Bar will open a store in Providence Plaza along with Park Road Shopping Center. The chain operates stores in seven other Southeastern states.

Neither Juice Bar nor Edens could be reached for comment.

Peralta: 704-358-5079;

Twitter: @katieperalta

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