Alice Walker-May, owner of South Louisville Body Shop, says it is difficult to make business decisions knowing that the state could be taking a large chunk of her property in the near future. “We haven’t been told what is going on, what is definite and what isn’t,” she says. “It’s a tough situation to be in with this being a family business. I just turned 50, so I’m not really ready to retire yet, but in three or four years when this goes through, it’s going to have a huge impact on us. I feel like if they take any more parking lot than what we’ve got now, it’s going to shut us down as a body shop because we can barely get a tow truck in here now.”

Linda Cox has owned Rubbies for 23 years. The family-run establishment is one of the few sit-down restaurants in the Southside Drive area. Cox found out about the expansion last summer when surveyors came to the restaurant. She is not pleased that the final plan could require up to 20 feet of her restaurant’s property, which she leases, but Cox is amenable to change. She is considering construction options such as changing the location of her entrance, and building an addition to make up for the lost room. Moving the restaurant somewhere else on the property would be harder and more expensive because of the need to relocate the exhaust system and the walk-in cooler. But Cox will do whatever it takes to stay in her current location because she doesn’t want to lose her customer base.

“I’m not against progress at all, but I don’t want to lose my business,” she says. “They had another company, I want to say they were an ecological company, that came to talk to all the owners. They wanted to see if we were happy. It’s like I told them, ‘There is talk of an industrial park down the street. If that happens I want to be here. I don’t want to move somewhere else where I have to start over. I want to be here where the business is.’”

Joe Ratterman, owner of Joseph E. Ratterman & Son Funeral Home, says he is worried about how the state will compensate business owners. Ratterman owns a building next to his business where Subway restaurant has a 20-year lease. Would the state compensate him for the last 15 years of the lease if they confiscate the property? What about business owners who lease their property, will they get compensated? Ratterman says these issues need to be dealt with before the project moves forward. He doesn’t think it is fair to Southside business owners to have to live in limbo.

“They are basically going to run everybody out of business on one side of Southside Drive,” Ratterman contends. “Some of these are second and third generation businesses. Are they going to get out of this what they put into these businesses over the years? The state is basically building a superhighway in an area where it is not necessary. I don’t understand it.”