Sport complex planned for East Charlotte put on hold

Friday, Feb 20, 2015

A plan to build a big thing on Charlotte's east side-- has been put on hold.

A company called GoodSports wanted to build an amateur sports complex behind Bojangles' Coliseum in east Charlotte. The complex would have included a fieldhouse, hotel and restaurant. That company now says it's putting those plans on hold in Charlotte for at least a year, maybe longer.

"I don't think it's a bad thing that we are wise enough to put the brakes on," said Charlotte City Councilman Michael Barnes in a meeting Thursday afternoon. Council is hitting the brakes because GoodSports CEO Jerald Good sent a letter to Charlotte's city manager Thursday morning, saying the company going to focus on a similar complex in Wichita, which is further along. Construction there was supposed to start there January 1st. It hasn't. And the land owner there tells the Wichita Eagle that if GoodSports doesn't meet a Monday deadline, they might not get another extension.

All of that swirl means that Charlotte's city council is happy to wait and look at other offers before committing money to make something happen.

"We're actually not putting the city in a worse position, we're putting ourselves in a better position," says Barnes, "because what we didn't want was to have a project start and stop."

Also Thursday, council got a look at some potential ideas to redevelop what had been the Eastland Mall. The city was once interested in partnering up with a developer to build a movie studio-- but that also fizzled. Some ideas thrown out in the meeting would split the property up-- and potentially use it for a park, a school, homes and businesses.

All of that said, councilman John Autry says, he's in no rush to do something in his district on the east side. "I'm not interested in having something happen for the sake of having something happening," he says. "I'm willing to take the time to get it done and get it done right."


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