City Council Considers Final Options for 29-acre Eastland Yards Parcel
Published on June 08, 2023
El Ayuntamiento considera las opciones finales para la parcela de 29 acres de Eastland Yards(PDF, 245KB)
(UPDATE): During it's Aug. 7 meeting, the Jobs and Economic Development Committee discussed proposals and requested additional information from both development teams to clarify information already provided. The committee voted 3-1 to rank order two proposals as follows: 1. QC East @ Eastland Yards; 2. Eastland Yards Indoor Sports Complex.
(UPDATE): City staff shared an update with City Council during its July 10 business meeting. The Jobs and Economic Development Committee will continue its review of each proposal during its Aug. 7 meeting. The meeting will be livestreamed on the City of Charlotte YouTube Channel.
(UPDATE): On Monday, June 12, Charlotte City Council voted to set aside $20 million as part of a public-private partnership to develop amateur sports and active recreation uses at Eastland Yards. The funding will be used alongside public-private-partnership funds in the five-year general CIP to reach a total investment of roughly $30 million associated with redeveloping the eastern 29 acres of the site.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (June 8, 2023) – At the June 5, 2023, Jobs & Economic Development Committee meeting, city staff recommended a community meeting to solicit feedback on proposals for a 29-acre parcel at Eastland Yards. See below for more information on the proposals currently being reviewed and evaluated by city staff. Details about the proposals reflect information submitted by the proposing groups. Please complete the Eastland Yards feedback form. Responses will be shared with City Council.
If you would like to be informed about community engagement sessions, please include your email address in the feedback form which can also be found at the bottom of this page.
Development Option A: QC East @ Eastland Yards
The QC East @ Eastland Yards would bring a sports, tech, and entertainment venue to the site. Phase one would include six multi-sport fields, an outdoor amphitheater, and a public event space, named ‘The Hub’, that would focus on professional and amateur esports events, STEM educational opportunities, and other events (ex. concerts). Phase two would be built if certain milestones are met in phase one and would include a hotel, commercial retail, and office space.
The group proposing the development includes Southern Entertainment, Charlotte Soccer Academy, and Esports Property Partners.
The site would also include six multi-sport, artificial turf fields and a Charlotte Soccer Academy facility; an outdoor amphitheater with capacity of 5,000 for seasonal use; a 20,000 to 25,000 square foot venue with event capacity of 2,500 to host professional and amateur esports events, concerts and serve as a digital entertainment area; and 680 parking spaces. Phase 1 also includes a food village and community gathering place that will encompass more than 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor flexible use space with a focus on diverse, neighborhood-oriented food offerings. The village will also offer the opportunity for standalone restaurant/dining space of up to 6,000 square feet. Both opportunities will include ample outdoor space where visitors and residents may gather and mingle while visiting the site for a variety of other activities. Phase 2 of the proposal — which is contingent upon reaching certain Phase 1 milestones — may include a hotel, and additional office and commercial space.
Proposed community programming includes apprenticeships and adult workforce trainings; technology education and gaming after school programs; and other community offerings including free tech-oriented classes and resources for seniors. The site would also offer field access to neighborhoods and a community space.
The proposal group estimates a $111 million annual economic impact from events and programming. The facility is also expected to support 683 full-time jobs, and attract 352,050 visitors annually, with 112,656 of those visitors traveling from more than 50 miles away.
The projected total cost of the proposal is $73 million; $61 million for Phase 1; and $22 million for Phase 2. Private investors would cover roughly $53 million of the total project cost — $31 million for Phase 1, and $22 million in Phase 2. The plan also calls for a $30 million public investment — $19 million from hospitality and tourism funds and $11 million in infrastructure reimbursements. The proposing group would purchase the land at market rates.
Development Option B: Eastland Yards Indoor Sports Complex
The Eastland Yards Indoor Sports Complex proposes a two-phased multi-sport complex. Phase 1 would include a more than 115,000+ square foot indoor facility with 10 full-size hardwood basketball courts that could be modified to create 20 volleyball courts or 40 pickleball courts. The complex could also include seating for 1,500 and space for cheer and gymnastics activities, sports performance facilities, and a fitness center.
The group proposing this project includes Synergy Sports, Viking Companies, RADD Sports, and EDGE Sports Group.
Leasable space could be available for other activities such as medical and physical therapy. The phase one facility could also include a community learning academy and a North Carolina and South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame. The potential outdoor programming would include two FIFA regulation soccer pitches, two futsal courts, outdoor basketball courts, jogging trails, and a playground. 700 surface parking spaces and a hotel are also included in the proposed phase 1 development.
The phase 2 development proposes up to two ice rinks, family entertainment, and commercial space.
The proposal group estimates $129 million in annual economic impact based on 150 tournament event days and 250,000 visitors in the first year.
The proposing group estimates project costs at $68 million with a public investment request of $28 million. The proposal requests a $1 per year ground lease. Community benefits would include 20 percent community use at various rates, as well as workforce development and youth enrichment programs.
The Eastland Yards Indoor Sports Complex proposal was received by city staff on June 2, past the deadline. Staff are still reviewing the details and conducting an evaluation of this proposal. Staff recommended this proposal be “potentially” considered pending further review and evaluation.
Eastland Yards Project Background
Over the last year, city staff have worked to identify development options for a 29-arce parcel at Eastland Yards after the original plans for the site fell through. The site was originally slated to house a Charlotte FC youth soccer academy and soccer fields, however, that commitment fell through last year. City staff have reviewed several proposals and updated City Council and the community during Jobs & Economic Development Committee meetings.
Eastland Yards Site Overview
Eastland Yards is a nearly 80-arce site in East Charlotte that will offer housing, access to transit, retail, dining, recreation, greenspace, and other amenities. Crosland Southeast is the site’s master developer. The site is being planned in four areas including:
- Mixed-use with Residential and Retail Space: This 69-acre portion of the site is currently under development as Crosland Southeast is currently grading the entire 80-plus acre property to prepare the site for infrastructure development so that buildings, roads, and other vertical construction can begin. The city broke ground on this portion of the site in August 2022.
- Charlotte Area Transportation System: This is the location of the Charlotte Area Transportation System (CATS) bus facility. This facility is currently in operation.
- Mecklenburg County Park: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is designing a park that will occupy roughly 4.6 acres at the site. The county park is separate from the city development. The county is requesting public feedback on the proposed park concepts through June 10.
- Future Development: This is the 29-acre parcel of land currently being discussed for development. Crosland Southeast is currently grading this portion of the site to prepare it for infrastructure development.
The city used a set of criteria, the Eastland Principles for Redevelopment, to determine whether each proposed development would help the site achieve community goals. The principles were created after extensive community input and feedback. Those principles are:
- Enhance Perceptions of the Eastland Area and East Charlotte: Attract visitors from across the region
- Unify Local Communities: Build on the East Charlotte’s cultural and international diversity
- Create Connectivity and Walkability for Surrounding Neighborhoods: Integrate development into the existing corridors and neighborhoods
- Take Advantage of Natural Features: Create dedicated and flexible open spaces
- Create Opportunity for Civic Development: Incorporate public amenities
- Increase Equitable Economic Development: Provide opportunities for small and local businesses
Financial Investment in Eastland
More than $50 million of public funds committed by the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County have been allocated to the Eastland redevelopment, not including $15 million spent by the city to acquire the property. Current private sector investments are estimated to be between $100 and $120 million dollars, not including potential private investments for the remaining 29 acres.
The city is committed to the redevelopment of the 29 acres and there are current discussions for additional public funding to complete the site redevelopment. The city estimates that more than $200 million dollars in public and private funding will be spent revitalizing the site.
More Information and Resources
More information about each proposal, including staff evaluations can be found in the presentations from the Jobs, Planning & Development Committee meetings:
- May 1, 2023, Eastland Redevelopment Presentation (Jobs and Economic Development Committee Meeting)(PDF, 3MB)
- Watch the May 1, 2023, Jobs and Economic Development Committee Meeting on YouTube
- June 5, 2023, Eastland Redevelopment Presentation (Jobs and Economic Development Committee Meeting)(PDF, 2MB)
- Watch the June 5, 2023, Jobs and Economic Development Committee Meeting
- A Vision for Eastland: Engagement Summary, Aug. 22, 2019(PDF, 15MB)
What work is happening at the Eastland site now?
The project broke ground in August of 2022 and has since been under construction to build the necessary infrastructure to support residential, commercial, and retail development. The current and near-term work includes site demolition and mass grading of the entire 80 acres, installing underground utilities and storm water systems, and public road improvements to the interior of the site including sidewalks, planting strips, lighting, greenway, etc. This work must be done before vertical development occurs. Crosland Southeast is currently scheduled to deliver single-family homes and affordable senior housing next year, and mixed-use development is scheduled for 2025.
What happened after Tepper Sports & Entertainment pulled out of the Eastland Yards development?
Since Tepper Sports & Entertainment pulled out of the project last year, staff have been working to identify the best long-term solution for the remaining 29 acres. Staff gathered feedback from residents and developers to review and vet any potentially viable projects that matched the established community goals for the site. Initially, staff did not pursue a full public option because several public-private options were being considered.
What other proposals were considered?
Other proposals included a Target retail store, an aquatics center, and a racquet sports facility. The Target was not recommended because it did not meet the community’s goals for the redevelopment. The aquatics center was not recommended because the proposers did not have an identified operator or developer for the facility. The racquet facility was not recommended because the financial model required the city to provide 88 percent of the projects total funding and the remaining two proposals better align with the original intent set forth by feedback received from the community.
Is there any conflict with the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament considering relocation to Charlotte?
No. City Council is currently considering a separate tennis proposal that would bring the Western & Southern Open tournament and a $400 million campus to the River District but that is not related to the Eastland Yards development. The tennis tournament development is too large for the available land at the Eastland site. Many of the concerns voiced by east side residents (parking, traffic, noise) would be increased by a project of that size, scale and scope. The city has enough funding capacity to provide public funding for the new proposed tennis tournament and also provide significant public funding for an east side project.
Was a public-only option considered?
Because of public funding requests, staff reviewed the possibility for a publicly constructed and operated dual-focused amateur sports facility. After initial review, this option was not attractive due to remaining uncertainties around timelines, budget, and partnership structure. After multiple conversations, a public-only option was not considered to be the most viable option for the site at this time.
What happens next?
City staff are evaluating and vetting each proposal. The city will conduct community engagement on the proposals that move forward. The next public update on this project is currently scheduled for the July 10 City Council meeting.