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City finalizes Eastland Mall purchase

CHARLOTTE — 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.

The purchase comes after Houston-based Boxer Property could not live up to its plans to reopen the mall with a Hispanic theme. Boxer bought the mall in 2010.

In buying the mall, the city is hoping it can find a developer to redevelop the property and, as a result, revitalize a portion of east Charlotte.

According to the city, there’s been interest in the Eastland property from the film industry to put studios and sound stages at the site. By the end of this year, the city said, it plans to issue a request for proposals to determine interest from developers of film studios and sound stages.

The city’s purchase breaks down as follows:

• $5.26 million for the mall’s central retail space, the area in between the anchor stores;

• $1.2 million for the Belk;

• $1.14 million for the Dillard’s;

• $2.5 million for the Sears;

• $1.2 million for J.C. Penney;

• $925,000 for Firestone; and

• $925,000 for Hollywood Video.

Jamie Banks, city spokeswoman, said Friday that Walker Wells, a broker with Charlotte-based FMW Real Estate, presented the city with the proposal to purchase Eastland Mall. Banks said FMW did the appraisal of the property and that the purchase price was below the appraised value.

According to a city press release, the city “assumed three leases with the purchase” of Eastland.

One lease is for a Sprint antenna on the roof of the property, while the other two are for businesses that have not opened, the release says. According to the release, the leases will be terminated and the tenants will be compensated “with funds provided by the broker.”

If the film studio idea doesn’t work out, the city could release another RFP with a broader focus, not just film studios, Banks said.

Payton Guion contributed to this story.

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