Development

Been a long time since you’ve seen Eastland Mall? Check out its past - and future - Thursday

The final “Rising Sun” signage at Eastland Mall being removed and prepared for transport to a storage facility in Concord as it awaits future installation as public art.
The final “Rising Sun” signage at Eastland Mall being removed and prepared for transport to a storage facility in Concord as it awaits future installation as public art. Courtesy of Grant Baldwin Photog

Charlotte City Council is still trying to figure out what to do with the former Eastland Mall site, but an event Thursday will welcome people back to relive a little of the mall’s history and help plan its future.

The event is planned for 4 to 8 p.m. on the mall’s vacant Central Avenue site. It’s one of the first public events since the city decided to hire another consultant team to help craft a plan for the east Charlotte site’s redevelopment. Here’s the city’s description of the event.

▪  Eastland“days gone by” and Eastland “days to come” will collide in a special fun, free event, where people can gather to reminisce and imagine new possibilities for the site, as part of the evolving Eastland story. The event will include family activities centered on the site’s history, the local community, and the opportunity for residents to imagine and participate in the site’s future. Ideal participants include East Charlotte neighbors and any Charlottean with a past, present or future connection to Eastland.”

▪ At 7 p.m., the Queen City Quiz Show will share information - trivial, entertaining and (sometimes) challenging - about Charlotte's past and present. The live event will feature local artists, musicians and food, as well as two teams of four players facing off against each other in front of a live audience. Winners will receive a check for the non-profit of their choice.”

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The site of the former Eastland Mall site, at Central Avenue and Albemarle Road. Davie Hinshaw dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte is spending $145,000 on the first phase of a contract with Dallas-based Jacobs Engineering Group.

The company is convening local businesses and developers to evaluate the area and come up with reasons why no one has jumped at the chance to buy and redevelop the site from the city. The consultants plan to present their findings to City Council in June.

Eastland had limped along for years. Belk closed in 2007, Dillard’s shuttered its store in 2008 and Sears shut down in 2009. After the mall closed in 2010, the city bought the 80-acre Eastland site in 2012 for $13.2 million. Since the city demolished the mall in 2013, the Eastland site has sat empty. CMS plans to build a K-8 school on part of the property, but no other plans have come to fruition.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo

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