Friday morning Brookdale Mall was fenced off and heavy equipment rolled in. Construction crews started tearing down the 50-year-old mall to make way for a new shopping center called Shingle Creek Crossing.
Project Manager Rich Kauffman with Tennessee-based Gatlin Development Co. says crews will pick away at the mall piece by piece starting on the east side, where a new Wal-Mart will go in. Crews will turn over an empty building pad to the Wal-Mart by November. A new 150,000-square foot anchor store should be open by November of 2012.
In addition to Wal-Mart, at least 15 other shops will be built on the site. While the developer didn't name any names, he did say there is a lot of interest in the new storefronts.
Once the Wal-Mart lot is cleared crews will move on. Pieces of the mall will be recycled and old scrap metal will be salvaged throughout most of the building.
"We'll tear down most of the mall except for a portion that was added on about 10 or 11 years ago," Kauffman said. "We'll leave that and remodel it."
As the walls come down outside, inside the mall is an empty shell with dust and debris sitting in the halls of what used to be a thriving mall.
Stripped storefronts line the interior, except for Sears, which will stay open. Shoppers are still safely wandering through this store as demolition happens just feet away.
Kauffman believes the construction marks a new chapter for the mall one that will revitalize an area that has sat stagnant for years.
"This will revitalize this area, and bring some new life to the city."
Lisa Furgison, reporting
Friday, August 05, 2011