Eastland Mall May Get New Life

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Eastland Mall, eastern Charlotte’s once-reigning shopping mall, could once again become a revenue-generating property. According to a report by the Charlotte Observer, officials have put the purchase of Eastland on the city’s immediate agenda with a reported $13.2 million price tag. If the city were to acquire the mall, it [...]

Eastland Mall, eastern Charlotte’s once-reigning shopping mall, could once again become a revenue-generating property. According to a report by the Charlotte Observer, officials have put the purchase of Eastland on the city’s immediate agenda with a reported $13.2 million price tag.

If the city were to acquire the mall, it would do so to consolidate a property that at present has seven individual owners. That makes negotiations with potential new investors and developers difficult and time-consuming, whereas a single-owner type structure would simplify any and all processes.

Walker Wells of Charlotte real estate firm Freeman, McClintock & Wells is brokering the potential deal and has been successful in securing 81 acres of the Eastland property for sale. That’s nine acres short of the total surface area and includes not only the main building but some outlying parcels and anchor stores as well.

However, the deal has to close by the end of August, meaning the city needs to make a swift decision regarding Eastland—something it has tried and failed to do in the past. In 2009, the city became interested in purchasing Eastland, offering $22.2 million for the site. Discord in the council regarding the price prevented the deal from closing, and $400,000 in option costs was lost.

Known for purchasing distressed office and commercial properties, Houston-based Boxer Property acquired a part of the mall in 2010 for $2 million from Miami Beach-based LNR, promising a “Hispanic-themed” redevelopment, according to The Charlotte Observer. That project never happened, even though Boxer claims it has tenants lined up. Nevertheless, Boxer will be shedding its interest in the property, if possible.

Built in 1975, two-floor Eastland has over 1 million square feet of retail space and was at the center of Charlotte’s eastern suburbs until the early 1990s. The property was said to have be worth $150 million a few years ago, but in 2010 it closed.

The city of Charlotte has not released any information about the existence of parties interested in the Eastland site, but Wsoctv.com reported rumors regarding the city potentially redeveloping the site into a film studio—complete with back lot and sound stage—hoping to attract even more film productions to the Charlotte area.

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