Business leaders tour Eastland Mall

Business leaders tour Eastland Mall

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by AMY COWMAN / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @amywcnc

WCNC.com

Posted on January 30, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 10:52 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Business leaders got to tour inside Eastland Mall on Wednesday. The city, who bought the old mall for $13.1 million, met with potential buyers and laid out their requirements for anyone looking to submit a proposal.

"It's in far better condition, frankly, then I thought it would be," said Stephan Smith with SHM Partners.
 
Business leaders got their first look inside the old Eastland Mall, several of them considering submitting a proposal to redevelop the property.
 
"What we do is find new uses for obsolete buildings," said Bob Silverman with Winter Properties.
 
Any company interested had to attend Wednesday’s meeting with the city as a pre qualification.

City officials laid out special conditions like the company must break ground within 24 months of project approval and they must meet certain financial and experience requirements. Two companies that showed up are from the film industry.
 
"Charlotte is underserved.  It has a healthy amount of production, (but) it can have more," said Smith.
 
SHM Partners serves as competition for Bert Hesse with Central Avenue Studios, who has been outspoken about the film vision since day one.
 
"North Carolina is a very hospitable area and the Charlotte area to make movie—everything from the tax incentives to the crew base to the environment locations, logistics," said Hesse.
 
Hesse says they are prepared to make the vision a reality.
 
"Our proposal is the stages, the film school, the office park.  Now we have community involvement for some other activities that would go on the sound stages," said Hesse.
 
While other companies are still scoping out the abandoned building, some are still unsure if they'll put in a bid.
 
"I don’t know what to do with this building but we're going to take a lot of time and study it, study the market.  That's the key.  The key is the market," said Silverman.
 
Companies must submit their proposals by May 30 and the city says along with community input they will make their selection on July 12.

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