If you are breathing you know that Charlotte's once fashionable Eastland Mall is no more.
In fact it has been no more for the last 4 years and on life support since late 1999. I don't think I've been to Eastland Mall since high school when I was robbed at gun point.
But I was reading the Observer and the Meck Deck Reader's Digest version (I'm dated aren't I? How many off you even understand the analogy "reader's digest"?) about the decline of Eastland and a crazy idea came to mind.
Charlotte's City Leaders are always pushing for affordable housing, the idea they support is that for a good city we need diversity, social as well as economic and ethnic.
The reason for Eastland's decline is the parallel decline in the average income level of the Central Avenue, and Albemarle Road Corridor.
So what we need is more "unaffordable" housing.
East Charlotte needs some country club housing, a few spas and high end shops, some upscale hotel and golf courses and some office complexes with an IBM or wait maybe Wells Fargo to come in and build a massive complex maybe even a couple of "Buckhead" Atlanta type venues.
What the area needs is a tax abatement for multi million dollar properties! No property taxes for 20 years or better. It took 2 decades to turn East Charlotte into a slum it will take some big thinking and some time to get it going the other way.
The City should start thinking outside the box and rebuild East Charlotte. Rather than let some shopping center management team turn Eastland into a little Tijuana it needs to become another Ballantyne. Just think we already have the "affordable" housing now build the "unaffordable" housing.
Its time the middle class did a little push back! And it will take the City to give up some tax revenue as an incentive to get things rolling.
Think I'm crazy, this same plan has been successful in Houston and Dallas as well as Atlanta and Chicago.
Cedar Posts Update: The Charlotte Observer reported late Monday that Boxer Property Management Company purchased Eastland Mall for $2 Million Dollars, that kidos is around $4 dollars a foot. If you would like to see what to expect for Eastland just drive out to Carolinawinds and have a look to the Plaza Fiesta!