CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Monday night, Charlotte City Council voted to approve a pre-development agreement for the old Eastland Mall site that could cost up to $600,000.
The city will split that cost with the development team and will not pay more than $250,000. That money would cover due diligence tasks like site investigation, testing of soil and existing foundation, and develop a master plan for the site.
The pre-development tasks will take anywhere from 7-9 months.
The City of Charlotte staff made a recommendation in August to the Economic Development Committee. Crossland Southeast and Eastland Community Development Inc. provided the most experience in similar projects and showed the most ability to raise the capitol needed for a project of this size, according to city staff.
“I am 100% confident that Crossland and Eastland Development will build the 69 acres,” said councilmen James Mitchell who chairs the Economic Development Committee. “If everything goes according to plan and we come back in March with the agreements and council vote? I would think construction, turning dirt is 2021.”
The development will be anchored by an FC Barcelona Soccer academy but will feature a hotel, residential units, multi-use office space, multicultural marketplace, restaurants and more. The development will also consist of a community marketplace, community sports, and community health and wellness.
“I remember when the mall was the place to be. Then it went down hill and got demolished,” said Dr. Martin House who lives in East Charlotte. “We feel like the forgotten Charlotteans. We fee like the people Charlotte does not care about.”
Dr. House, like others, feel the city has spent money on other projects around the city but have not focused on the Eastside. Many say, the vote Monday changes that.
“Thank you for your patience. Thank you believing that this council would do the right thing,” said Mitchell. "This vote tonight says we stand with you and beside you.”
“I have an 8-year-old son who likes soccer, who loves soccer. I think he will think this is great,” said House. “In 10 years from now, when he is 18, the neighborhood has something to offer him so he doesn’t have to look at other parts of Charlotte to live.”
Officials say as the Charlotte Economic Development Committee continues to focus on developments for the Eastland Mall site, affordable housing will not be a priority.