Once a big Charlotte attraction, Overstreet Mall faces uncertain future

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – In-between Charlotte’s business hubs and tallest buildings, skywalks connect workers through a mall system that spans four blocks.

“You could come here, you didn’t really need to have any plans you could just come here and have fun,” Uptown worker Desmond Wilkerson said.

The once-bustling Overstreet Mall is now quiet.  The mall is full of boarded-up storefronts, temporarily closed signs, and empty seating space.

“It has probably been about two years since we’ve been in that mall especially with Covid-19.  It’s a confined space and a lot of people used to be in that area as well when we were coming into the office five days a week,” Uptown worker Jamie Baker said.

Baker is one of nearly 120,000 people who work in Center City.        

“Overstreet Mall should be really well-positioned because of the physical connection between the mall itself and the employers that sit above it,” Senior Vice President of Economic Development at Charlotte Center City Partners James LaBar said.

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Over the last two years, the majority of workers have been sent home.

“Overstreet Mall and so much other parts of Uptown and center city for small businesses, it has been super tough going on two years due to the pandemic,” LaBar said.

The organization launched an innovation fund to help businesses like the ones in Overstreet Mall find ways to reach more customers.

“They can’t just limit themselves to a certain customer group otherwise, they become over-dependent upon a certain customer,” LaBar said.

Uptown workers say they are hoping any help will bring back stores that left and attract new ones.

“It would be great to have opportunities to shop there for meaningful purchases.  Things that are needed for work or for snacks and things like that but really right now, it’s not worth going in honestly,” Baker said.

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