Overhaul of decrepit east Charlotte spot continues with $6 million land sale

The Coliseum Center on Independence Boulevard.
The Coliseum Center on Independence Boulevard.

A plan to redevelop a once-thriving and now-shuttered retail spot on Independence Boulevard has taken a step forward, with the $6 million sale of land for an auto dealership.

A company affiliated with Sonic Automotive bought the 10-acre site in a deal that closed Thursday, Coliseum Center owner Chris Bitterlin said. Sonic plans to turn the site into an Echo Park, part of its new chain of used car dealership.

Sonic has said it plans to open an additional 15 EchoPark locations in Florida, Georgia, Texas and the Carolinas by the end of 2018.

Demolition of the Coliseum Center has been completed, and about 8 acres of the site remain for redevelopment. Bitterlin said he’s signed letters of intent with several tenants for a 50,000 square-foot retail development planned on the site.

Bitterlin declined to say who the prospective tenants are. Site work and preparation for construction is ongoing at the former Coliseum Center, and is scheduled to wrap up by the spring of 2018, allowing construction of the new buildings to start soon after.

The new development will be called Coliseum Crossing.

The once-thriving Coliseum Center strip mall, built in 1964, was formerly anchored by a Kmart, which closed in 1994.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo