Demolition began Thursday afternoon on the former Sears store at Valley View Mall.
The North Dallas mall has been sitting in a state of decay for years while court battles dragged on between the city and developers. Developers say in 90 days the Sears building will be gone -- and then the real work on the project, called Park Heritage, can begin.
“Talking about it for so long, but you will believe it when you see it. This location will prove itself,” said Bill Guthrey, Senior Vice President, KDC.
What Dallasites have heard about for years might actually be moving forward: the billion-dollar Park Heritage development. There are promises of 23 acres of offices, retail and restaurants, luxury apartments and a 3-acre park.
“Walkable, place you want to spend time as an employee, resident or out on date night,” Guthrey said.
Demolition day on a highly visible eyesore did not come too soon for Mayor Mike Rawlings, who has just 45 days left in office.
“This is a very important day in my tenure and eight years,” Rawlings said.
Rawlings said the project will give Dallas a competitive edge with its northern suburbs.
“People do want to live in Dallas but want to be outside of downtown,” Rawlings said. “I just wanted it to happen a lot sooner than it did, but finally it did, so we are here to celebrate that we are knocking things down.”
With 300,000 cars passing by each day, leaders call the location the intersection of “Main and Main.”
“You can get here no matter where you are coming from,” Guthrey said.
While KDC and Seritage own the Sears portion of the mall, Beck Ventures owns the bulk of the Dallas Midtown project with 90 acres.
Many partially demolished buildings have been sitting for years. But the CEO of Beck Ventures recently settled a lawsuit with a different property owner, who is now selling the former Macy's property. He says the demolition of the mall will be complete at the end of the year.
Rawlings is no longer making projections.
“I'm not giving one time table on this project because I've missed all of them,” Rawlings said.
KDC says buildings should start going up about a year from now.