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Best Real Estate Baller 

Clyde Burris

Staff Pick

When Clyde Burris opened Burris Liquor Store at 415 Meeting St. in 1968, he couldn’t have imagined the sweetheart real estate deal he would land one day. Last year, after 46 years in the liquor business, Burris inked an agreement with a Charlotte-based developer who wanted to build a hotel on his land. Rather than simply selling the land, Burris says he convinced the developer to rent the land from him on a 99-year lease — and that’s not all. The developer also agreed to purchase land directly across the street (at a price of $800,000), build a new liquor store on the land, and then give it to Burris for free. As a cherry on top, once the hotel is built on the old property, Burris says he’ll have his own suite on the top floor for life. He intends to live in it. “It’s a fairy tale to me,” Burris said when we interviewed him last fall in his glistening new store. “I never even thought this would ever happen.” —Paul Bowers

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