Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
Thank you for participating in our survey. What would you like to see Eastland Mall become? What would you like to see Eastland Mall become? A mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly community center. A multicultural retail and service center. A park or other recreational space. A residential development.
After 35 years, Eastland Mall is closing its doors.
SLIDESHOW: Eastland Mall Closing Its Doors After 35 Years
Tenants must be out by 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Houston-based Boxer Property recently bought the part of Eastland Mall that was in foreclosure, paying just $2 million for it.
VIDEO: Eastland Mall Closed
When Eastland opened on Central Avenue in 1975, its skating rink and food court attracted statewide attention. Over the years, though, it struggled to stay afloat as customers went elsewhere. Eventually, all of its anchor stores -- Belk, Dillard’s, J.C. Penney, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory -- went elsewhere, too.
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Boxer Property purchased the inner part of the mall, between the empty anchor stores. Last year, city leaders considered buying the same part of the property for $7 million. At the time, they floated the idea of demolishing the mall and creating a pedestrian-friendly community in its place.
The city hired the Urban Land Institute to study the property in 2007. The group recommended the city completely revamp the area by tearing down Eastland Mall, building stores, homes and recreation facilities in its place and then renaming the development.
The push to revitalize the area came as crime plagued the mall, with robberies, shootings and fights happening on and around the property.
The mall’s future remained in limbo for several years. Now that Boxer Property has purchased it, there is still speculation as to what it will become.
Andrew Segal, the president of Boxer, said his group used ethnic themes to revitalize sites in Fort Worth and Houston, and also at Plaza Fiesta, which is located near Carowinds.
Boxer said the company may try the same concept at Eastland, turning the entire mall site into a multicultural “shopping experience.” To do that, though, the company needs the anchor stores, which it doesn't own. Its backup plan is to stick with the ethic theme, just on a smaller level, and attract retail stores, offices and a grocery store to the space.
“We've really listened to the community,” he said. “There are a huge number of people who live literally within walking distance of the mall, and the ownership of the mall in the past has not reacted to what those people want.”
Some current mall tenants were supportive of the idea.
“There is a lot of business that can happen in this place,” Prakash Dadgani said. “If it is advertised right [and has] proper security, people will still come.”
Boxer has not released a formal plan for the site, and there is no word on when it will reopen.
Previous Stories: May 31, 2010: Foreclosure Auction For Eastland Mall Draws Near April 20, 2010: Neighbors Worry Eastland Mall Will Become An Eyesore October 21, 2009: Church Moves In To Eastland Mall September 30, 2009: Charlotte Holds Closed-Door Talks On Possible Eastland Mall Purchase June 30, 2009: Signs Of Progress Near Eastland Mall February 16, 2009: Police: Woman Robbed Outside Charlotte Mall January 15, 2009: Homicide Suspect Arrested At Eastland Mall July 24, 2008: City Leaders Hope Eastland Mall Owner’s Departure Will Lead To Redevelopment July 24, 2008: Owner Plans To Liquidate Charlotte's Eastland Mall March 26, 2008: City Wants To Purchase Belk Building At Eastland Mall March 29, 2007: East Charlotte Neighbors Back Plan To Demolish Eastland Mall March 8, 2007: Experts Recommend Tearing Down, Replacing And Renaming Eastland Mall March 6, 2007: Experts In Town Looking At Ways To Revitalize Charlotte's Eastland Mall December 5, 2006: Two Crimes Strike Another Blow To Charlotte Mall’s Image February 13, 2005: City Wants New Look, New Attitude Around Mall December 24, 2004: One Shot Outside Eastland Mall In Charlotte April 16, 2004: Recent Fights Prompt Tighter Security At Eastland Mall March 28, 2004: More Police At Eastland Mall, Transit Center June 9, 2003: Public Hearing On East Charlotte Revitalization Plan