Eastland Mall closing in four weeks - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Eastland Mall closing in four weeks

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By Sharon Smith - bio l email

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - With foreclosure looming, retailers are preparing to move out of Eastland Mall by the end of the month.

Tenants at the mall located in east Charlotte have to move out by June 30th.

Wes Hunter of Queen City Furniture Galleria says he and his employees will pack up a couple days prior to that date.  Hunter says business was good during the tax season, but sales have slacked off.

Hunter hopes there is a plan after the mall closes.

"There's always a plan," Hunter said.

The mall sits on 80-acres of property off Central Avenue.  In the past, the city has discussed building mixed-use retail, but those plans were tabled after buy-out discussions with the owners fell through, and the city was only will to spend $7.4 million dollars.

Harry and Tina Willis walk around the mall several times a week.

"It's sad," said Tina, who started walking the mall back in the 70's when it opened.

City Council member Nancy Carter said she is not aware of any new development plans and said the city cannot get involved because the property is still privately owned.

Even if the section in foreclosure goes up for auction, the potential buyer will have to either buy-out or work with several other remaining owners. It makes for a very expensive, and very complicated deal.

It's possible the city's non-residential vacant building ordinance could be enforced, but it would likely take years for anything to change.

The city will only move to tear down a property once it is determined to be unsafe and blight on the community; plus, it must be determined that the cost of demolition is worth it compared to the cost of repairs and tax value.

In the meantime, neighbors hope the current owners hire security to patrol the vacant property so crime does not move in.

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