CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The city of Charlotte has officially filed a rezoning petition for the old Eastland Mall site.
The vacant 69-acre site will be home to Charlotte’s MLS team headquarters and practice facility, retail, restaurants, apartments and homes. The city is working with Crosland Southeast and Tepper Sports to develop the property.
The petition rezones 78 acres. Crosland Southeast is under contract with around an 8-acre parcel of land adjacent to the Eastland property.
Proposed uses for Eastland, according to the rezoning petition, include mixed-use, residential, commercial, office, hotel, athletic fields/buildings and operations buildings, transit facilities and public parks.
“It’s one more step forward and it’s really exciting that something that the community has wanted for so long, and the city as well, is finally starting to make its way to reality,” Assistant City Manager Tracy Dodson said.
The initial site plan filed by the city divides Eastland into three parts.
The top left parcel, development area 3, is dedicated to housing, according to Dodson. Dodson said the developer is eyeing a mixture of housing options, including millennial starter homes, small single-family lots and duplexes. A decision on whether to require affordable housing will have to be made by Charlotte City Council at a future date.
The bottom left parcel, development area 1, is being eyed as a mixture of retail, restaurants and apartments.
The bottom right parcel, development area 2, will be home to Charlotte’s MLS team headquarters, practice facility and community fields. To the right of the bottom right parcel is the plot of land Crosland Southeast is attempting to purchase to add to the Eastland property.
Work is expected to start on all parcels at the same time, however, the main priority will be getting the practice facility and team headquarters built. They are not expected to be completed by the team’s 2021 start date.
“We want to be very transparent in this,” Dodson said. “It's a large site, it's complicated.”
Rezoning petitions require a community meeting, a public hearing before Charlotte City Council and then Charlotte City Council approval. Dodson said the community meeting for Eastland will take place in early March. That sets up a public hearing before Charlotte City Council in April. The earliest a vote could happen is May.
The city wants development agreements in place with Tepper by City Council’s final approval.
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“It is fantastic. It is a long time coming,” Councilman Matt Newton, who represents Eastland, said. “It is something good for east Charlotte. It is something good for the city of Charlotte.”
The Eastland site in its entirety has not been rezoned since it was slated for a mall.
“Everyone knows it is just an empty site right now. The buildings have been leveled and it shows no purpose for the city of Charlotte,” Newton said. “It is all about uplifting everyone in east Charlotte and making sure current residents have a bright future as well.”
Dodson said the city has started talking with CATS about a possible relocation of the transit center. No decision has been made about the skate park that currently sits at the site.
The city has not determined whether it will sell or lease the Eastland land after or as it is being developed.
According to the rezoning petition, subject to funding by Mecklenburg County, the city has to provide at least two acres of Eastland as a public park. The rezoning petition also states that outdoor fields may be covered on a temporary or permanent basis by buildings or structures including limited air-supported “bubble dome” facilities.
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