The city of Charlotte has picked three developers as finalists to redevelop Eastland Mall, with two of the groups having local ties.
They are: ARK Ventures, Inc., run by Rick and Noah Lazes, the developers of the N.C. Music Factory; Studio Charlotte Development, whose point person is Charlotte movie executive Bert Hesse; and Film Studio Group from Los Angeles.
Charlotte bought the remains of Eastland Mall in August for $13.2 million. The city hopes to redevelop the site, possibly into movie studios to capitalize on the states growing film industry.
The three teams must make a detailed proposal to the city by May 30. The city hopes to pick a winning developer by July 12.
Both Film Studio Group and Studio Development Charlotte have said in interviews that they are interested in the citys idea of converting Eastland into studios. Hesses group, Studio Development Charlotte, has said he would tear down the mall. Film Studio Group has expressed interested in re-using some or all of Eastland.
The Lazes said in an interview they have a different idea for the site that isnt related to the movie or television industry.
The citys economic development office has told the developers that they must take the lead financially in the project. The city hasnt ruled out some financial assistance, but the city said the winning proposal should be financially viable....using private-sector funding sources.
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