• Council unanimously votes to begin talks with Studio Charlotte for Eastland Mall

    By: Nate Stewart


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Sound stages, film studios and potentially new revenue for Charlotte is all a part of a proposal City Council voted on that could revitalize Eastland Mall, something that developers said would bring money an jobs to the city of Charlotte.

    With a unanimous vote, Charlotte City Council will begin talks with Studio Charlotte LLC, to potentially put a multimillion-dollar movie studio on 80 acres of the old Eastland Mall location. Council voted to purchase the land last July.

    "It's a good step for the city. Now we can go into a lot more detail with our plan," said Bert Hesse, CEO of Studio Charlotte.

    Hesse said he has been in talks with the city for over a year and believes Charlotte is one step closer to becoming a major destination for the film and entertainment industry.

    "It could be huge. Georgia does $3 billion a year in film and entertainment. We do one-tenth of that in North Carolina," said Hesse.

    Holding signs in support of the new development, the Baba sisters, who own their own animation company, believe it could bring new opportunities to those in the film industry.

    "It can have the potential to make Charlotte become the next media hub I believe and the biggest thing yet," they said.

    One of the items that need to be resolved is how much taxpayer money will be needed -- something that the city will have to consider if they move forward with the project.

    Now the Economic Development Committee will take over to come up with a framework for the land, and how the city could make money off of it. They'll present their findings to council in six months.

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