City Council Approves Purchase Of Eastland Mall

City Council Approves Purchase Of Eastland Mall

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Eastland Mall now has a new owner – The City of Charlotte.

Charlotte City Council voted unanimously Monday night to buy the abandoned 80 acre property, spending $13.2 million with hopes of turning it into movie and television studios and revitalizing the east side.

The city says it has received interest from “multiple” studios about the site, and economic development officials plan to seek requests from companies who want to redevelop the site.

Eastland mall slowly declined over the last decade, losing many of its anchor & larger stores before closing entirely during the summer of 2010.

Charlotte could sell the land to a developer, or it could keep the land and lease it to a private company.

Council will use money from a $16 million bond referendum passed in 2008 for the purpose of fixing up the Eastland Mall property. Councilman Warren Cooksey said, while he doubted the film studio concept would be successful, he approved the deal because people have been waiting over three years for council to do something about Eastland Mall.

The deal requires the city to post $750,000 in non-refundable earnest money by July 31. The proposal presentation details a timeline that opens bidding to potential developers in late-Autumn. A developer will ideally be chosen by March 2013.

Mayor Anthony Foxx noted the deal is about more than movies or a mall. He talked about investing in all parts of the city.

“We can make parts of our city that some consider throw-a-ways–or as one former mayor called them ‘Corridors of Crap’–into something worth investing and believing in again,” he said.

The current $13.2 million deal breaks down as follows:

• $5.26 million to buy the interior section of the mall from Houston-based Boxer Properties, which bought that section of the mall for $2 million in 2010. Last year, Boxer sold a 1.4-acre piece of the mall to the Charlotte Area Transit System for $771,000. CATS had a small community bus station on the site and had been leasing the land. When the sale closes, Boxer will have sold its $2 million stake in the mall for more than $6 million.

• $2.5 million to Sears, Roebuck and Co. for its empty anchor store.

• $1.2 million each to Belk and Eastland Fields (owner of the old J.C. Penney/Burlington Coat Factory store).

• $1.14 million to Higbee LANCOMS, which owns the empty Dillard’s building.

• $925,000 each to EJB Charlotte, which owns the empty Firestone building, and H/V Central Avenue, which owns the empty Hollywood Video store.

The average price per acre is $163,501. Under the old 2009 proposed purchase price of $22.24 million, the city would have spent $266,000 an acre.

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