CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On Monday, Charlotte City Council discussed project proposals for the old Eastland Mall site.
The redevelopment project, called Eastland Yards, aims to revitalize the area with housing, retail and new jobs. But there's still 20 acres of land that doesn't have a plan. It comes after Tepper Sports backed out of building a Charlotte FC facility in Summer 2022.
“We need, have always needed some kind of economic boost for our folks, that they can take advantage of,” said Greg Ascuitto, Chair of CharlotteEAST Board of Directors.
The council heard about three different proposed projects: The Eastland Aquatic Center, Racquet Sports Entertainment District and a Target.
Eastland Yards broke ground last August. The first phase will include several different housing options, shops, restaurants, offices and green space.
“Sports complex is what we’ve been promised and it's what we believe will be the most viable site," Asciutto said.
Asciutto said more retail space is not the right fit for the community.
“The idea of putting large scale retail in a site that has been vacant for ten years because of the decline of large-scale retail is a foolish, foolish decision," said Asciutto.
Charlotte City Council members acknowledged their commitment to east Charlotte residents for the development of a sports option that would benefit the community.
“I don’t want this to be something that we're saying we're checking a box for and I’m very reluctant to do that and I know everyone’s been waiting for some time, and yes, we deserve an answer, but we have to get it right,” District 5 Councilmember, Marjorie Molina, said.
Getting it right seems to be a difficult process, as the council says that right now there is no clear answer.
For the tennis courts and aquatic center, about $10 million dollars will still need to be raised from the private sector and the city would have to put forth taxpayer dollars.
If Target were to move into the site, no public investment would be needed.
After Monday's discussion, council voted to extend the deadline for 60 days, which allows for the two sports proposals to find more money and it gives other projects the opportunity to apply.
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