East Charlotte Residents React to Eastland Mall Development Talks
CHARLOTTE, NC -Development at the old Eastland Mall site may soon get a boost from the city and Carolina Panthers.
A source confirms the city and team are looking into the Eastland Mall site as a possible MLS team headquarters. Eastland Mall closed nearly 9 years ago. The city bought the property and it has remained empty, despite several ambitious plans, including one that would have put a movie studio there.
“You got a lot of homeless people there, out roaming around the property,” said Jeff Flores. “It’s not really good to walk around at night.”
A source tells WCCB that the city and Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper are looking at the Eastland Mall site as a potential Major League Soccer team headquarters.
“I think it would be a positive thing,” said Willie Higgins, “I don’t see a lot of negative issues.”
Higgins has lived within walking distance of the Eastland Mall site for 17 years and says he’s seen big ideas and plans come and go.
“All the hoopla on what they could do, what they didn’t do. So everyone was kind of confused and considering all right, the city owns it, nothing is ever going to happen to it,” said Higgins.
According to the source, the MLS headquarters would be contingent on Charlotte getting the final expansion team slot. Elected leaders have said in the past they’re confident of the Queen City’s chances.
“I feel good about us potentially landing that 30th franchise in Major League Soccer,” said Council Member Larkin Egleston earlier this year.
But until MLS is in CLT, the site will remain empty. The residents living nearby are staying hopeful.
“The enthusiasm around here is very strong,” said Higgins, “everyone wants to see something done.”