Westfield Eastridge

Westfield Eastridge

Infobox shopping mall
shopping_mall_name = Westfield Eastridge

image_width =
caption =
location = Gastonia, North Carolina, United States
address = 246 N. New Hope Road, 28054
coordinates =
opening_date = 1976
closing_date =
developer = Carlson Properties
manager =
owner = Westfield Group
architect =
number_of_stores = 100
number_of_anchors = 4
floor_area = convert|919557|sqft|m2|1|abbr=on
floors = 3
parking = 4,214
website = [http://www.westfield.com/eastridge/ westfield.com/eastridge]
footnotes =

Westfield Shoppingtown Eastridge, known colloquially as Westfield Eastridge, is a regional shopping mall located in Gastonia, North Carolina, and is nineteen miles west of uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. Opened in 1976 as Eastridge Mall, it is located off Interstate 85 at exit 20, N. New Hope Road, and the mall houses 100 stores.cite web |publisher=Westfield Group |url=http://westfield.com/corporate/property-portfolio/united-states/eastridge.html |title=Property Portfolio: Westfield Eastridge |date=2008-01-31]


Matthews Belk

Matthews Belk is an original anchor tenant of this mall. While the other anchor stores relocated during the late-1990s renovations, Matthews Belk anchor remained in place but underwent extensive interior renovation.cite news |date=1998-10-01 |work=Retail Traffic |url=http://retailtrafficmag.com/mag/retail_southeast_development_projects/ |title=Southeast Development Projects: North Carolina |first=Allyson H. |last=Sicard]


JCPenney is an original anchor tenant of this mall, although the store is no longer in its original location. In 1997, a new convert|104000|sqft|m2|sigfig=3|abbr=on JCPenney store was built on the northwest side of the mall and the old location was demolished.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Gastonia council approves Eastridge Mall expansion plan |date=1996-03-20 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=1L]


The third anchor store when the mall opened in 1976 was an Ivey's department store. In May 1990, the entire Ivey's chain was acquired by Dillard's which promptly rebranded the Eastridge store with the Dillard's name. [cite web |work=Live Malls |title=The Ivey's Archive |first=Steven |last=Swain |url=http://livemalls.blogspot.com/2004_12_01_archive.html |date=2004-12-01] A new convert|202000|sqft|m2|sigfig=3|abbr=on Dillard's location was constructed on the former JCPenney site in 1998.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Mall nears end of musical stores |date=1998-09-04 |first=Audrey Y. |last=Williams |page=1L]


Sears became the fourth anchor tenant of this mall when it moved into the space vacated by Dillard's in 1998.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=With Sears in lineup, mall calls in carpenters |date=1997-12-20 |first=Audrey Y. |last=Williams |page=1L]


Eastridge Mall was developed in 1976 by Carlson Properties on the site of the former Rhyne Dairy Farm.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Australian Company to Buy Malls in Gastonia, N.C., Other Areas |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7366946_ITM |first=Danica |last=Coto |date=2001-12-11] [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-30519052_ITM |title=A 2nd act for pioneering mall? |first=Joe |last=DePriest |date=2006-06-30] [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Name changes, memories stay |date=2007-02-11 |first=Joe |last=DePriest |page=12L] In January 1989, Jacobs, Visconsi & Jacobs Co. purchased Eastridge Mall from Carlson Real Estate Co. of Minneapolis for an undisclosed sum.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Eastridge Mall merchants say sale to have little impact |date=1989-01-29 |first=Stephen |last=West |page=6] Jacobs, Visconsi & Jacobs had managed Eastridge Mall since 1984. In August 1999, the Richard E. Jacobs Group Inc. announced that it was putting Eastridge Mall — and nearly 40 other malls — up for sale. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Ohio-based owner of Eastridge Mall seeking buyers |date=1999-08-29 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=7L] In April 2002, Sydney, Australia-based Westfield America Trust bought Eastridge Mall and eight other shopping centers across the United States from the Richard E. Jacobs Group for a combined purchase price of US$756 million. [cite news |work=Chicago Tribune |title=Shopping Center Giant to Buy Ownership Stake in Chicago-Area Mall |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8886918_ITM |first=Thomas A. |last=Corfman |date=2003-08-12] cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Mall struggles for comeback |date=2004-02-15 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=1L] This latest purchase triggered a name change from Eastridge Mall to Westfield Shoppingtown Eastridge on April 26, 2002. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Mall's owners promise new stores |date=2002-05-05 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=1L]


The mall's first significant renovation since opening in 1976 began with expansion that started in April 1996. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Eastridge Mall planning a major expansion by 1999 |date=1996-02-17 |first=Timothy |last=Roberts |page=1L] cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Changes in store for Eastridge Mall |date=1998-11-11 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=6D] A new JCPenney location was built, the old building demolished and replaced by a new location for Dillard's, and Sears moved into the old Dillard's location. To make room for some of the new construction while maintaining the same number of parking spaces, and with the approval of the Gastonia City Council, the mall reduced the width of the most distant 20 percent of the mall's parking slots from convert|9|ft|m to convert|8|ft|6|in|m. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=City lets mall whittle parking spots |date=1997-08-20 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=3L] The mall's interior was updated, new exterior mall entrances were built, floors and fixtures were replaced, and a relocated food court was opened. While work on the new anchor locations would continue into 1999, principal renovation of the mall interior was completed in November 1998.

Although the mall was renamed in April 2002, the exterior signs still said "Eastridge Mall" in February 2004. The last trace of the mall's original name was finally erased in August 2004 when a large "Eastridge Mall" pole sign along Interstate 85 was removed.cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Latest Developments |date=2004-08-15 |first=Sharon E. |last=White |page=5L]

Former features

Eastridge IV Cinemas

This four-screen movie theater, located on the second level of the mall since it opened in 1976, was last owned by Carmike Cinemas. The theater was closed on January 8, 1998, and a nearby Radio Shack relocated, to make way for construction of a new food court as part of the mall's late-1990s renovation. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Eastridge Mall Cinema about to say 'The End' |date=1998-01-03 |first=Audrey Y. |last=Williams |page=1L] In August 2004, the mall added an convert|800|sqft|m2|sigfig=2|abbr=on Family Lounge near the food court that includes private nursing stations, bottle warmers, a microwave oven, a large-screen TV, and leather seating. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |title=Retail Report |first=Leigh |last=Dyer |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-8542975_ITM |date=2004-08-30]


The mall's third floor, vacant since the food court was relocated to a new space on the second floor in November 1998, reopened in December 2004 with 80% of the floor space occupied by a "Jeepers!" theme park restaurant. This convert|28000|sqft|m2|sigfig=3|abbr=on tenant [cite news |work=Charlotte Business Journal |url=http://charlotte.bizjournals.com/charlotte/stories/2004/12/20/daily14.html |title=Jeepers opening in Gastonia mall |date=2004-12-21] , featuring games, a playground, a diner, party rooms and amusement rides, held its grand opening on January 14-17, 2005. [cite news |work=The Charlotte Observer |url=http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-7752612_ITM |title=Retail Report |first=Leigh |last=Dyer |date=2004-12-27] Jeepers! also featured a steel sitdown roller coaster known as Python Pit.cite web |title=Jeepers (Gastonia, North Carolina 28054 USA) |url=http://rcdb.com/pd1171.htm |accessdate=2008-08-17 |work=Roller Coaster Database] Because of the low ceilings and other space considerations, this roller coaster had a maximum height requirement of convert|63|in|m. [cite web |work=PBase |title=Jeepers at Westfield Shoppingtown Eastridge |url=http://www.pbase.com/jamminj/jeepgasto |date=2005-03-18] This Jeepers! location closed in early 2006. [cite web |title=Parks: Jeepers - Gastonia, NC |url=http://database.thrillnetwork.com/park_view.php/754 |accessdate=2008-08-17 |work=Thrill Network] The roller coaster was relocated to Go-Karts Plus in Williamsburg, Virginia, in 2007.


External links

* [http://www.westfield.com/eastridge/ Westfield Eastridge official website]
* [http://livemalls.blogspot.com/search/label/Eastridge%20Mall Eastridge Mall - Live Malls]

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