INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- The Inglewood City Council approved a plan this week to make way for a transit system, forcing dozens of businesses in the area to relocate.
Some 300 employees could be displaced by the project. Torion Newman worries her job at a beauty supply store will end if the business is forced to relocate.
"I'm just emotional... because we don't know which way to go," Newman said.
Sam Chung, of Inglewood Beauty Supply, made it clear to Eyewitness News that he doesn't want to relocate.
The city of Inglewood approved the relocation plan for his business and 40 others that would have to move to make way for the 1.6-mile People Mover connecting the Metro K Line to Inglewood's growing sports and entertainment district.
Chung argued the beauty supply business was the first of its kind three decades ago in the city. When he purchased it 14 years ago, he had planned to retire on the income from the business - until now.
"All my retirement plans right now... on hold," he said.
When asked whether the relocation plan qualifies as eminent domain, Inglewood Mayor James Butts replied: "Absolutely not. The only time eminent domain would be invoked is if the land owners didn't come to terms on the fair market value of the property."
Butts added the city will work diligently with private landowners and the businesses leasing property from them.
"Business relocation is for businesses that are leasing space in any of the properties that would be acquired for the transit connector. That we would help to relocate them to another place, hopefully in Inglewood, and we'd pay those relocation costs, startup costs and what they lost during the transition," the mayor added.
Butts said if all goes well, the project would start and be completed before the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.
"We want to start construction by the middle of next year. We want to be completed by the end of 2027."