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Purple Line May Force Businesses And Homes To Relocate

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The construction of the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties could displace more than 100 homes and businesses, and many who may be affected are upset.

In the pages of a newly released environmental impact study, there are details of how the Purple Line could condemn the entire Spring Center strip mall on 16th Street in Silver Spring. One business there is a liquor store, owned by Austin Lee's family for a quarter century. Lee says the compensation the state may provide if his business has to move is inadequate, and his family would face another challenge to staying in business anyway.

"Every corner in Montgomery County is already beer and wine established," he says. "How am I going to find a new location?"

At nearby El Aguila restaurant, the sound of Spanish-language TV permeates the lunch crowd, where Dario Orellana's been serving Salvadoran and Tex Mex cuisine for 14 years. He says the state of Maryland is threatening to shut him down with the construction of the Purple Line.

Orellana's restaurant is one of more than 100 businesses and homes that could be condemned along the planned 16-mile Purple Line in both counties. According to the study, 25 single family homes and 28 apartment units are also in jeopardy along the planned route, but state officials say those impacts might be changed in the final design of the project.

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