With little fanfare, the city has decided to squash the hollow shell of Eastland Mall, in response to the perceived needs of the two developers who have been shortlisted to remake the 80-acre site. But Bert Hesse, CEO of Studio Charlotte Development, one of the developers considered for Eastland redevelopment, said city officials would be smart to hold off on the demolition, adding that, in doing so, they could save some money and possibly a piece of the storied mall.
The last time Noah Lazes went against the grain, he lost. Late last year, Lazes, president of the Ark Group, battled futilely for the Carolina Theatre against the heavily favored and deep-pocketed Foundation for the Carolinas.
The city has chosen three developers to respond to a Request for Proposals on the redevelopment of the former Eastland Mall.
"All of these rules and regulations are well-intentioned, but it’s just gone too far -- despite my 'no' votes," Dulin said. "It’s added too much more costs to the costs of development, especially the tree ordinance and the post-development design guidelines."
A Request for Expression of Interest from the city of Charlotte for the conversion of Eastland Mall into a film studio returned with only one interested party – The Film Studio Group of Los Angeles. We caught up with five of the real estate insiders and interested parties with whom we spoke in August, when the city council approved the $13 million purchase of Eastland Mall.
"I’m not going to let [the film studio deal] fall apart. I am determined to get this done. It may take years, but I want people to understand that I’m relentless. We’re going to do it. It’s going to cost money …but that’s the only way things are going to work."
The city of Charlotte said Friday that it has finalized its purchase of the languishing Eastland Mall, in a $13.15 million deal that includes 80.45 acres, the mall's core retail space, four anchor stores and a Firestone and Hollywood Video.
In 2007, the Urban Land Institute published a report on what should happen with Eastland Mall.
According to the plan, "Reinventing the Eastland Mall," the site, and surrounding area, would benefit from a mixed-use redevelopment featuring retail and community spaces and a residential component.
Some city officials claim that those in the film industry are interested in the Eastland Mall site, possibly for sound stages. We asked some people which movie title applies to the city’s purchase.
The dragged-out death of Eastland Mall turned some dedicated free-market advocates into pragmatic backers of government intervention. The Charlotte City Council on Monday voted unanimously to spend $13.2 million to buy the mall property.