by: Scott Wickersham Updated:CHARLOTTE, N.C. —
As trees at the old Eastland Mall site blossom, hopes of new life for the mall itself are dying.
Charlotte city officials decided to walk away from Studio Charlotte on Thursday, saying their project lacked substance and was moving too slowly.
There's now no movement at all, which is frustrating residents.
“There are a lot of people and races here. We just need some activity in this spot,” said Mary Jane Jackson.
A 2007 study by the Urban Land Institute in Washington cited the obstacles that still haunt the site.
The study stated the Eastland Mall site is no longer a regional location and growth has passed by the area. It stated there is also a perception of crime.
The study also pointed out the land is crucial to the future of the east side and said what happens on the mall site will determine what happens to the neighborhood in coming years.
Years later and those facts still ring true.
City leaders now hope instead of one massive project they can sell the area for mixed-use projects in pieces. Selling all 90 acres could take years.
It’s another disappointment for Elvis Suero, who works across the street.
He was looking forward to a movie studio.
He's questioning the city's decision to buy and demolish the mall in the first place.
“They should have left it the way it was. Just open the mall up,” Suero said.