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City Council Votes To Spend $250,000 On Eastland Site

David Boraks/WFAE
The City Council Monday voted to spend $250,000 to redevelop Eastland Mall

The City Council voted unanimously Monday night to spend $250,000 to study 70 acres of the Eastland Mall site with the developer, Crosland Southeast/Eastland Community Development, which will spend another $250,000 on the project.

The money is meant to cover "pre-development" tasks, such as creating a master plan, inspecting the site and reaching out to the community. That is expected to take between seven and nine months.

The city bought the Eastland site six years ago for $13 million and demolished the mall in 2013.

Earlier this year, city staff recommended backing the Crosland Southeast proposal over three other developers. Crosland Southeast said it would build a youth soccer academy on the site that would be affiliated with the professional team FC Barcelona. The project would also have apartments and retail.

Seven speakers implored the city to approve spending the money. Rev. John Bremer of the Calvary Church of the Nazarene on North Sharon Amity Road said east Charlotte badly needs new development.

“As you know east Charlotte has endured many years of economic hardship as grocery stores retail and entertainment have fled, largely in the wake of the closing of the mall," Bremer said. "This proposal would be a great help to bring businesses such as these back to east Charlotte.”

But the city and Crosland have not reached a deal on how much taxpayers may have to spend to redevelop the site.

Council member Julie Eiselt said the city wants to maintain control of the site, and it's possible the developer will ask for city financial help for things like roads and other infrastructure.