City leaders approve funding for Eastland Mall site development

Charlotte City Council unanimously approved $20 million in funding to develop the former Eastland Mall site on Monday.

The funds are part of a planned public-private partnership, creating a $30 million investment in the 29-acre site owned by the city, city officials said.

Why it matters:  For years, the city has debated on what should be done with the old site of Eastland Mall, which closed in 2010. Developers have proposed multiple plans for the property, but none have panned out so far.

The city is working with developer Crosland Southeast to transform the area into an economic booster for east Charlotte. 

The city is weighing two sports-related bid options.

Indoor sports complex

The indoor sports complex, headed by Charlotte-based sports consulting company Synergy Sports, pitches the idea for a 115,000-square-foot indoor facility with 10 indoor basketball courts that can be used as 20 volleyball courts or 40 pickleball courts, a Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and learning academy.

The project would also feature soccer fields, outdoor basketball courts, a jogging trail, a playground, 700 parking spaces and a possible hotel.

A future phase could include a mixed-use development with ice rinks, a medical office and retail space, and some type of family entertainment, such as an arcade.

Funding for the project consists of $40 million in private investment and $28 million in public investment, a $1-per-year ground lease, according to multiple published reports.

The project is expected to earn revenue of $129 million annually and 250,000 visitors.

QC East: athletics, events and esports center

Southern Entertainment, a Charlotte-based event company, wants to implement six multi-use athletic fields, an amphitheater, and a 20,000-square-foot “Hub” technology lab, esports center and event space for up to 2,500 people, which opens up to the outdoors.

The funding would consist of $30 million in public investment and $22 million in private investment, according to multiple published reports.

The project is expected to have an economic impact of $111 million annually and supply 683 full-time jobs.

City Council plans to get community input before making a final decision in the coming months.

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