The location is considered ideal because of its close proximity to the Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
Developer Mark Herman said he's working with Chinese and American investors to dramatically change the mall's appearance and to make it a destination for culture, education, food, and business.
Herman said plans include a Chinese supermarket and a five-star hotel.
"In the future, I believe that when the question arises, 'Where is the Raleigh-Durham International Airport?' the answer is 'next to Chinatown,'" said Herman.
To make the announcement official, Herman is hosting a "Year of the Dragon Celebration" Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Airport Boulevard site.
He said the first phase of the $130 million conversion will be ready by September.