City of Charlotte considering a plan to convert Eastland Mall into TV & movie studios (UPDATE: approved!)
Posted on 19 Jul 2012 by Justin Ruckman
The vacant Eastland Mall site – which may be bought by the city of Charlotte – has drawn interest from “multiple parties” for new television and movie studios, the city said Wednesday.
The City Council voted Monday night in closed session to consider next week buying the empty mall for $13.2.million.
If it buys Eastland, the city’s plan is to partner with a private developer to transform the area, possibly into a film studio and sound stages. The city’s purchase would eliminate the multiple owners currently on the 90-acre site, allowing the city to present a single, large parcel of land for use.
City Council member John Autry envisions a partnership in which the city might provide the land while a developer covers construction costs.
Council members are scheduled to vote on the sale Monday.
“We think that this is the last opportunity to have control of the site,” said Democrat Autry, who represents the area. “If this is to fall through, we’ll see the mall broken up. There won’t be any planning to it.”
Autry said Charlotte has recently drawn interest from Hollywood, noting that the Showtime television series “Homeland” is filmed locally, and the blockbuster movie “Hunger Games” also was filmed in and around Charlotte. “The film industry is one of our targeted areas for growth,” he said.
Autry said it’s possible a studio could use some of the existing mall structure, but he also said the city might raze the entire mall. The city has said in the past that demolishing the mall could cost up to $10 million.