CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Today, the city took one more step in coming to an agreement with a development team to revitalize the old Eastland Mall site.
The city’s Economic Development Committee voted unanimously, to approve a pre-development plan that could cost up to $600,000. However, the city would 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.
“So the big picture? Investment in the site? We are no where close to that. This is just the preliminary threshold, quite frankly, pennies on the dollar to move forward,” said Councilman Matt Newton of District 5. “We are saving money here. There was always an expectation of due diligence process.”
The pre-development tasks will take anywhere from 7-9 months.
“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 full council will vote on the pre-development agreement on October 22nd.
“I see no issue come October 22nd. The council will see the work we have done. I believe it will be 11-0,” said Mitchell.
Residents of Eastland Mall raised some concerns this week after rumblings of more road blocks.
“If this deal fell through for some reason, we were concerned the city would say, ‘Ok, we own this so let’s just put affordable housing there,” said Debbie Dryden, the President of the Raven Wood Neighborhood Association. “I think it is a good investment for us and I feel much better about this now that we are recommending this to full council.”
Mike Sullivan is the Co-Chair of CharlotteEast.
“This is just the normal process that anyone would do when they are buying property. We are putting together the terms to craft the contract,” said Sullivan. “It has felt like an eternity, but when you are trying to sell something, it feels like an eternity. But, I feel like this project is moving forward.”
The City would own all plans and deliverables should the development team decide to move on after conducting pre-development work.