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Eastland Mall Redevelopment


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I think the implication is one the center city, with it's affluent residents, does not support the closest regional mall to downtown. They would, as you mention, drive out to more distant suburbs to shop.

i.e. Downtown is an emerald city surrounded by very trouble areas that continue to lose out in the economic game because the city and it's residents choose not to invest there anymore. Does anyone care, I don't know.

I think inner-ring suburbs having economic problems, sandwiched in by resurgent downtowns and thriving outer-ring suburbs, is pretty common around the US, unfortunately. Wealthy people who work in downtowns either want to live close to work in buildings downtown or want big, nice houses in distant suburbs. Inner-ring suburbs, with older, smaller houses, just aren't what people who can afford better want. Malls in those inner-ring suburbs then die off. McAlister Square in Greenville, SC is a victim of this pattern, and it looks like Eastland is as well.

Deadmalls.com has some updates- one about Windsor Park Mall in San Antonio. That mall seemed to have had a crime wave, with shootings inside and outside the mall. Look where it ended up. Doesn't bode well for Eastland.

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site plan as proposed now from Crosland website

Movement Charter school at Eastland site.  Sure wish the city would have not wasted time on things like a movie studio.  And for the life of me don't understand why affordable housing is not being don

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I think inner-ring suburbs having economic problems, sandwiched in by resurgent downtowns and thriving outer-ring suburbs, is pretty common around the US, unfortunately. Wealthy people who work in downtowns either want to live close to work in buildings downtown or want big, nice houses in distant suburbs. Inner-ring suburbs, with older, smaller houses, just aren't what people who can afford better want. Malls in those inner-ring suburbs then die off. McAlister Square in Greenville, SC is a victim of this pattern, and it looks like Eastland is as well.

The smarter thing to do, for Charlotte and the other cities facing the same problems with their "midtown" districts, is to find ways of alleviating the perception problems, including removing the criminal elements and diversifying the neighborhoods so that a more balanced mix of people will support what stores and services are available. If the city stablizes East Charlotte, Eastland has a chance and there's a lessened "donut" effect between Uptown and the suburbs.

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Well, just when I thought I'd never seey Hoyt's diagram again (outside of Urban Planning Theory), it rears its head publicly here :D .

Charlotte is unlike many cities, though. It has strong first ring suburbs.Myers Park, Eastover, Elizabeth, Plaza-Midwood and Wesley Heights. Even its second ring neighborhoods are healthy (i.e. Collins Park, Madison Park, Cotswold, Barclay Downs and Sherwood Forest).

Eastland fails for the simple reason that the demographics around it have changed. Sales per square foot are so poor at Belk that it partitioned off an entire section of the second floor. Its sales floor is now more than a third smaller than it was when it opened in 1976.

I have to admit though that I love the ice rink in the center (along with those way cool chandeliers that hang beneath the skylights).

In my opnion, Charlotte is a classic example of H. Hoyt's Sector Model of city growth based on income and transportation

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It's almost as if looking east at Charlotte...

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At many times of day, Eastland is harder to get to from Uptown than SouthPark or NorthLake. Other times of day, it takes the same amount of time to drive to each. I don't think Eastland reflects at all on Uptown for better or for worse.

I think that there is a good chance that Eastland will pull out of this. Mostly, however, I hope it switches to a shopping center, like Cotswald, that is mostly outdoors. It should have a mix of neighborhood retail (Eckerd, Teeter, etc), and lowish-priced chain stores (like Old Navy, Bath and Body Works, Books-A-Million, etc). Now way a 70s-era enclosed regional mall can possibly survive for long.

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At many times of day, Eastland is harder to get to from Uptown than SouthPark or NorthLake. Other times of day, it takes the same amount of time to drive to each. I don't think Eastland reflects at all on Uptown for better or for worse.

I think that there is a good chance that Eastland will pull out of this. Mostly, however, I hope it switches to a shopping center, like Cotswald, that is mostly outdoors. It should have a mix of neighborhood retail (Eckerd, Teeter, etc), and lowish-priced chain stores (like Old Navy, Bath and Body Works, Books-A-Million, etc). Now way a 70s-era enclosed regional mall can possibly survive for long.

Costwald lost its Old Navy store though.

Edited by cantnot
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Assuming these new tenants were told of any departing anchors, why would they (especially Athlete's Foot, a national chain) sign leases now? Admittedly, tenants apart from the Athlete's Foot are signs of a dying mall.

Ok, I normally post things regarding the malls in South Carolina, but couldn't pass up this opportunity. Athlete's Foot (corporate version) went bankrupt in 2004 immediately causing all of it's corporately run shoe stores to close. The only remaining stores are those that are owned locally. A shoe store coming to Eastland Mall wouldn't be a bad thing when looking that Footlocker's division "FOOTACTION" has their number one store in Eastland Mall. The Footaction there has outperformed stores nationwide for years now. If you take an honest look at the mall what you'll see is that the stores remodeling are the ones doing well. I.e. the shoe stores. Champs is modern, Footlocker is modern, but Eastland is left with the underperforming stores small and dated such as American Eagle Outfitters.

I visited Eastland Mall years ago when it was performing better than it does now. I noticed too many signs of demise when visiting the mall today. Starting with Dillards.

Earlier in a post someone mentioned of Dillard's not displaying the Eastland location on the website. The reason being is because the Dillard's at Eastland is nolonger a full-line department store. It only offers clearance merchandise. "DILLARD'S CLEARANCE STORE". You can only enter Dillard's from one level of the mall at this point. Dillard's tends to hide their Clearance Stores and eventually kills them off. The last one to be killed was their location at Raleigh Springs Mall in Memphis, Tennessee. This store was a clearance store a year before it closed.

Am I saying scream, run, cry, kick and leave Eastland? No! Other such malls like Eastland exist. Raleigh Springs Mall in Memphis, Tennessee is one so similar. AFter a shakeup with their anchors: Dillard's, JCPenney and Goldsmiths (later became Macy's) leaving the mall it was left Sears and a good number of stores. Should Eastland remodel? NO! Wrong thing for them to do. The area has had it and whomever puts money into Eastland to try to compete with Charlotte's newer malls will not get their investment back. It would be better to keep the cracks filled and keep paint on it, but not consider upgrading it to compete.

Counting that Charlotte's malls all have Limited. The store in Eastland does the worst and other national chains catering to suburban greek crowds have once again failed the report card. Compare thh business of Limited, American Eagle, Victoria's Secret and Express to those of Carolina Place, Southpark Mall and even to Eastridge Mall in Gastonia and you'll be very dissapointed. Eastland is in it's last cycle as a regional destination. Lets keep it open for those who live around it who can't afford to shop the high class malls.

Someone will buy it and finish filling the holes that we know will happen once the anchors and Limited Brands will leave. The focus now should be getting those dollars from the lower income neighborhoods surrounding the mall and giving them a place to shop

Rashaad

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Eastland fails for the simple reason that the demographics around it have changed. Sales per square foot are so poor at Belk that it partitioned off an entire section of the second floor. Its sales floor is now more than a third smaller than it was when it opened in 1976.

I have to admit though that I love the ice rink in the center (along with those way cool chandeliers that hang beneath the skylights).

The chandeliers have been gone for a while. :(

Concerning Belk, they're suffering from changing demographics, but they're not exactly presenting a great store either. That place has not been updated in nearly 20 years and it looks it. I give Dillard's and Sears credit for at least updating somewhat in the '90s, Dillard's more than Sears. Dillard's actually is a very nice looking store.

The sales floor is smaller overall because Belk as a whole sells a smaller variety of stuff than they did in 1975. It's mostly clothes in there these days, and if clothes aren't big, they suffer.

Anyway, I don't care how big the sales floor is, so long as it's a good store. Belk isn't, not at Eastland. The merchandise looks very warmed over and the employees aren't very helpful at all.

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Apparently the thugs responsible for the first shooting in Eastland were responsible for a street murder near Sugar Creek that occurred later that evening. They identify themselves as part of a gang called the Hidden Valley Kings and are based in the neighborhood of the same name. Hidden Valley is a former middle class 60s neighborhood of mostly ranch and split level homes off of Sugar Creek Rd, between Tryon and I-85. A Brady Bunch neighborhood. This neighborhood is a classic block buster neighborhood that went from 100% White to almost 100% Black in just a few years in the late 60s/early 70s.

Several years ago another gang from this neighborhood was responsible for a murder of a BofA executive right in broad daylight in front of the University Hilton. They picked out and shot and killed an innocent bystander as a requirement "initiation" into the gang.

Fortunately all 5 members of this gang, all in their late teens early 20s, have been caught by the Police. Let's hope the courts put them away for a long time. What a waste.

Edited by metro.m
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Uhh. Southpark opened in 1971. :P

:D Yeah, I should have added the rest of my sentence "with a bad reputation".

Also, I forgot that Books-A-Million replaced Old Navy at Cotswald.

As to the Hidden Valley Kings: :shok: . They shot a BofA execute at random in front of a Hilton!?! Holy sh... What the heck is wrong with these people!

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A shoe store coming to Eastland Mall wouldn't be a bad thing when looking that Footlocker's division "FOOTACTION" has their number one store in Eastland Mall. The Footaction there has outperformed stores nationwide for years now.

That's great. As a sneakerhead, I know I've bought a few things there over the years.

If you take an honest look at the mall what you'll see is that the stores remodeling are the ones doing well. I.e. the shoe stores. Champs is modern, Footlocker is modern, but Eastland is left with the underperforming stores small and dated such as American Eagle Outfitters.

True.

Earlier in a post someone mentioned of Dillard's not displaying the Eastland location on the website. The reason being is because the Dillard's at Eastland is nolonger a full-line department store. It only offers clearance merchandise. "DILLARD'S CLEARANCE STORE". You can only enter Dillard's from one level of the mall at this point.

Yep, that's store's toast. I hate to see it happen, because that was a very good looking store inside.

One thing about it that's good is that they'll have some exceptional deals from now until they kill the store.

Am I saying scream, run, cry, kick and leave Eastland? No! .... Should Eastland remodel? NO!

....Someone will buy it and finish filling the holes that we know will happen once the anchors and Limited Brands will leave. The focus now should be getting those dollars from the lower income neighborhoods surrounding the mall and giving them a place to shop.

I agree on the first part, wholehartedly disagree on the second part. In the right hands, Eastland can and will become a regional destination again.

Counting that Charlotte's malls all have Limited. The store in Eastland does the worst and other national chains catering to suburban greek crowds have once again failed the report card. Compare the business of Limited, American Eagle, Victoria's Secret and Express to those of Carolina Place, Southpark Mall and even to Eastridge Mall in Gastonia and you'll be very dissapointed. Eastland is in it's last cycle as a regional destination. Lets keep it open for those who live around it who can't afford to shop the high class malls.

Is Limited Brands even relevant nowadays? I mean, they're shedding divisions left and right and the remaining ones are very much warmed over from a merchandising standpoint. I can see why Carolina Place would want them, they're very average and middle market, but at malls like SouthPark and Eastland they're worthless.

Take Express for example. The repositioning as dual-gender metrosexual stores is not striking a chord with consumers, and the divsion will likely be sold and ruined by an outside investor in a matter of months. In the cae of Eastland, where the clothes aren't right for the market in fit or styling, relieving the mall of that store wll allow something better to come in. At SouthPark, the store's too damn big (and cheesy) anyway, and the space it consumes is aching to be more productive.

Edited by StevenRocks
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The mall is in decent shape- not as nice as McAlister Square and not nearly as nice as Greenville Mall were when they died, but still OK. It will probably need some renovations in a few years, but it should be OK for a while more.

I just wish Eastland would get rid of that sun logo above some of the entrances.

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It seems as if malls, or shopping centers, have to reinvent themselves to ensure long-term success. If they become stagnant, then they start to slide. Some of the malls I used to go to growing up have either been torn down (Tower Mall in Portsmouth VA) or are in a serious state of neglect (Newmarket Square Mall, Newport News VA). However, there are a few that have stood the test of time (Lynnhaven Mall in Virginia Beach). Of course, Southpark is a good example of a mall evolving and thriving.

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