Eastland Mall. Photo: Iwasteela/Flickr
Charlotte residents will soon be the proud owners of their very own deserted shopping mall.
Last night the City Council voted unanimously to acquire Eastland Mall for $13 million. An audience of film industry workers and east-side neighborhood leaders gave the vote a standing ovation.
Councilman John Autry says movie production companies have expressed serious interest in building soundstages on the 80-acre site.
"But it'll be more than just a bunch of boxes there where people are shooting film in," said Autry. "I envision this as developed and built out as a city within a city."
In December, the city will start seeking proposals from private developers to build film production facilities on the mall property. City council members also agreed to begin work on a contingency plan in case private developers don't come forward and the city is stuck with the land long-term. Eastland Mall has been largely vacant since 2009.