CHARLOTTE, N.C. With or without the Eastland Mall site, Studio Charlotte organizers will move forward.

In a letter to the Charlotte Observer
, CEO Bert Hesse criticized the paper saying a recent opinion piece about the initiative shows unprofessional journalism. He adds the economically depressed Eastland deserves better

Meanwhile, the ARK Group, which dropped out of the RFP (Request for Proposal) process and was one of the two in the running for the Eastland redevelopment, says it will consider redeveloping Eastland under the right circumstances. This includes not putting it out for RFPs again. Organizers would want a direct deal, and public-private partnership with the city.

Their initial plan was residential, retail, food, recreation, and school type development. This would be similar to Birkdale Village.

The ARK Group says it would have no problem paying for geotechnical, land and utility testing, and would not ask the city to pay for half like Studio Charlotte is.

The ARK Group is not in talks with the city, but organizers say if they get involved in developing the land it would be years until neighbors see results.

They want to see something instead of talk, said neighbor Alvin Joyner, whose house is a stone's throw from the old mall. Just tired of hearing blah, blah, blah.

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