CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - For nearly a decade, about 70 acres of land in east Charlotte have wasted away and gone undeveloped. Plans for the old Eastland Mall site have come and gone without any real action and the land remains just one big parking lot.
That all changed on Monday, after the City of Charlotte staff made a recommendation to the Economic Development Committee to move forward with a developer.
The development team of Crosland Southeast and Eastland Community Development Inc. will most likely be tasked with this job. According to city staff, that group provided the most experience in similar projects and showed the most ability to raise the capitol needed for a project of this size.
The development will be anchored by an FC Barcelona Soccer academy but also feature a hotel, residential units, multi-use office space, multicultural marketplace, restaurants and more.
"I am feeling very optimistic. Very optimistic that it will get started," said East Charlotte resident Diana McLemore. "East Charlotte has a project and we are not going to blindfold ourselves when we go past that site."
The development will consist of a community marketplace, community sports, and community health and wellness.
"For it to be in the condition that it is today it's sad. But, this meeting? It is reinvigorating," said councilmen Matt Newton of District 5. "We are talking about a re-branding process for East Charlotte."
Past projects have failed to materialize from Studio Charlotte to a Hispanic-themed mall.
"We got caught up with doing something quickly," said councilman James Mitchell who chairs the Economic Development Committee. "Do your due diligence. Make sure people have the capability. I think we have the right team now, a local team, and what I call that catalyst vision."
Conversations with the developer will still need to be had about tax dollars, the selling of the land, the infrastructure needs, and more.
The Economic Development Committee will vote on the recommendation in September and the full council will vote at the beginning of October.