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Charlotte leaders approve purchase of possible film studio

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WSOC) -- Charlotte City Council members voted in favor of buying the $13 million vacant Eastland Mall Monday night, with proposals to build a film studio.

Ed Garber, Eastside Political Action Committee representative, was confident city council would buy it.

He's led the push to get it sold because right now the mall has seven different owners.

He believes that once the city buys it, it will be easier to sell to a single developer.

“I think the people in east Charlotte have been dealing with the issue long enough that city council knows that what a problem it is for the community and how it's bringing the community down,” said Garber.

The money to buy it will likely come from a 2008 bond referendum allowing as much as $16 million dollars for redevelopment here.

“Something has to be done with it and people who say, well, you know, we're not gonna spend tax money on it they're really kidding themselves because then, the situation is not going to get fixed,” said Garber.

The Eastside Political Action Committee said turning the mall into a studio would bring jobs and benefit the city economically.

One of the biggest challenges for any developer looking to buy the property is negotiating with seven different owners of the mall.

Supporters said the studio would help improve that area of the city.

“What you hear all the time about east Charlotte, not being vocal or not caring, you can hear the energy now. It’s alive. And we love it. We love Charlotte. I just can’t wait to see what great things this project brings,” said Garber.

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