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Old 12-02-2008, 10:22 AM
ADR
 
171 posts, read 457,543 times
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I would say 10-15, possibly 20 years ago. I lived at an apartment complex on Albemarle in my 20's. I am 43 now. The complex called The Lake Apartments-was the place to be. Eastland was thriving with many nice stores and resteraunts and the ice rink and movie theater with an Annabelles right beside it. Across the street was Grady's and Darrells resteraunts. All the stores in that strip mall were desirable stores. Boppers Bar and Boogie there was a fun little night spot. It was indeed a very desirable area.

I moved out of East Charlotte area 2 years ago because of it's horrible decline. It is sad. The same thing happened to the Derita area. When I moved to Charlotte I lived there and there was the Tryon Mall and movie theater, mant nice eating places, a drive in movie theater. Now you have Hidden Valley.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:26 AM
mzd
 
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The decline of Eastland Mall was very very gradual IMO. I moved to Charlotte in 1984, and went to that mall just about every weekend. It was extremely nice and upscale, with a lot of shops.

When Carolina Place opened (in the early 90s if I recall correctly), and when South Park underwent a lot of renovations, shoppers tended to go to those newer places. But Eastland Mall was still ok: I took my daughter there for her night skating lessons in 1997-1998, and I felt fine walking to my car after dark.

We moved to Raleigh in 1999. When I drove by Eastland Mall in a visit to Charlotte in 2002, I was dumbstruck by how it had changed, for the worse. It's sad to hear that the same thing seems to be happening to Carolina Place.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,302,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinnative View Post
I have witnessed, firsthand, organized groups of shoplifters at Carolina Place. Last Christmas, while taking a rest, groups of folks were "organizing" nearby. Basically, they had large shopping bags and had targeted zones where they were "collecting" items and reporting back to base. Additionally, around Christmas, shoppers get so distracted that they are easy targets. It was sickening for me to see and hear this. I have been in the ladies room and seen where the shoplifters have left behind the packaging of items (CDs/DVDs). My sister and her young daughter were there last weekend and she said she felt she was being targeted (arms full of bags with kid in tow). She was fearful of leaving the building to go to her vehicle. I think that was her last trip to Carolina Place Mall. You are right, Ani! If things don't straighten up over there, they can look to Eastland Mall as their future.
Very interesting you should have written this...I rarely do any mall shopping, but have visited them all over the years a few times. Not too long ago I had to go to Carolina Place when a store in South Park didn't have the exact item I wanted - their location in Carolina Place was holding it for me. I was SHOCKED at the decline in the mall when I got there. It had probably only been a year since I was last there, but geez was it looking bad. Then I read where the mall owners are close to bankruptcy and that explained a lot. I too felt a bad vibe and waited to walk out to my car with another group going my way.

As far as Easland Mall - it was a VERY nice mall to visit in the 80's and most of the 90's. I used to live near it and walk my son over for ice skating all the time. The decline there for me was around 1997. The neighborhood began to change from more middle class to more lower income with a disproportionate amount of apartments and rental homes. But I will always have very fond memories of the times I spent at Eastland before this all happened.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:37 AM
 
1,304 posts, read 3,867,435 times
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Do you think the decline of the Hwy 74/Independence Blvd corridor was the nail in the coffin for Eastland Mall?

I was thinking of the glory days of Eastland Mall. My husband and I lived in our first apartment off Sharon Amity between Independence and Eastland. We were very happy there, but once the Independence Blvd area started to decline, we moved over off Carmel Rd.

Might be an interesting angle to explore in your project...
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: State of Being
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I think Independence Blvd definitely played into Eastland's decline. And all that is tied into the neighborhoods in that area that declined, as well. Demographics shifted; lower income residents changed buying/spending patterns and support for stores nearby. . . changes in traffic patterns meant less patronage from others to those stores; then the crime went up (thugs moved in to low-rent housing) and so that meant more of us stayed away . . . it is surely all intertwined.

I, too, have very happy memories at Eastland Mall. It was a "date destination" for many of us . . .and was a terrific place to go back in the 70s and 80s.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:55 AM
 
Location: NE Charlotte, NC (University City)
1,894 posts, read 5,725,602 times
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It's worth noting in this thread that malls in general are considered crime magnets. They're sort of self-destructive by nature. For example, every little petty theft that occurs (which is bound to happen when you have 100+ stores in one concentrated area) shows up as a "crime" in that area. Since these "crimes" happen sort of frequently in malls, even the upscale ones, the crime rate goes up in that locale. Property values will start to reflect this and take a dip. Lower property values means a much higher chance of getting some "thug" neighbors who in turn do their part to keep that crime rate jacked up.

This is why malls are met with opposition in some areas (in addition to the monstrous amounts of traffic they bring)...same with Wal-Marts and other retail outlets. Some folks think malls help property values...not in my opinion. Maybe in the opening couple of years of its existence. Afterward, it's all downhill.

The only reason Southpark hasn't slipped is due to its surrounding high property values that keep the mall from dragging things down. Plus, its distance from riff-raff-generating neighborhoods helps.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Highland Creek Area
327 posts, read 1,057,668 times
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I agree with the posts that reference the late '90s as the start of the decline. I started working in an office on Albermarle in 1999. We used to frequent the food court for lunch and we started to see the decline front and center. For me, it was when the Gap pulled out of the mall. Gap was one of the first major chain stores to leave, and let's face it, what's a mall without the Gap? Stores like Belk, JCPenny, and others followed, then Harris Teeter vacated their store next to the mall.
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Charlotte area, NC
221 posts, read 484,717 times
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I'm a native too, and I think you're exactly right. I remember doing a termite job near there in 1995 and it was not good then!

Quote:
Originally Posted by travlingrlclt View Post
I'm a native and I would say more like 10- 15 years ago.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:31 PM
 
1,166 posts, read 3,543,450 times
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City planners and the Planning Commission played a major role in the decline of the area.

In addition to the way Independence was handled, the area couldn't sustain it's middle class population once large areas were rezoned for either apartments or high density neighborhoods with small cheaply built homes.

At the same time SouthPark was revitalized and large homes became the fashion.

Eastland was not the only victim of the poor planning many very pleasant neighborhoods - on "the wrong side of Independence" lost their desirability.
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Old 12-02-2008, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Up above the world so high!
45,270 posts, read 88,302,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbJ View Post
City planners and the Planning Commission played a major role in the decline of the area.

In addition to the way Independence was handled, the area couldn't sustain it's middle class population once large areas were rezoned for either apartments or high density neighborhoods with small cheaply built homes.

At the same time SouthPark was revitalized and large homes became the fashion.

Eastland was not the only victim of the poor planning many very pleasant neighborhoods - on "the wrong side of Independence" lost their desirability.
Glad you chimed in Barb - knew you'd have a first hand account to contribute
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