CHARLOTTE – After three years sitting idle, there is some movement concerning the old Eastland Mall in east Charlotte.
City leaders announced Friday afternoon that they've narrowed down the list of potential buyers from seven to three. Two of the three finalists are from Charlotte and the third is from Atlanta. All are proposing some kind of a mixed-use facility that would require a nearly complete overhaul of Eastland Mall.
Two bidders are hopeful to turn the site into a film and television production studio of some kind.
The city of Charlotte bought the entire site for a little more than $13 million under the expectation that the mall would be sold to a private group this summer. City planners want the three finalist groups to submit detailed plans by late May, which will include how the project would fit within the east Charlotte community and how they expect to have the money to keep the site successful over the long term.
"The possibilities here are exciting, but with everything, you want to be cautiously optimistic. We're not going to count our chickens before they're hatched. We really want to make sure these teams can deliver financially," said Peter Zeiler, development and investment manager with the city of Charlotte.
City planners will make a recommendation for their preferred group in July to the Charlotte City Council.
Eastland Mall first opened in 1975. After it closed in 2010, Boxer Properties bought the inside core of the shopping center and planned to re-open, but those plans never materialized.