ALTON - The demolition of the former Macy's Department Store building adjacent to the Alton Square Mall is going on schedule, Alton Mayor Brant Walker said Wednesday morning.
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Fencing, demolition equipment and piles of debris currently surround the 200,000 square foot former retailer. Walker said The Hull Group, a Georgia-based firm, which currently owns the Alton Square Mall property, is footing the bill for the project out of its own coffers, adding TIF funds would be coming soon. In previous interviews with Riverbender.com, Alton Building and Zoning Director Greg Caffey said the demolition process will take anywhere from 60-90 days.
Once the building has been demolished, the 14 acres where it once stood will be seeded with grass and will be marketed as "premium retail space" facing Homer Adams Parkway.
"When they get that out of the way, it gives them a clean slate of 14 acres facing the Homer Adams Parkway," Walker said in previous interviews with Riverbender.com. "It is definitely in the interest of that side of the mall."
Demolition is being done by Hull Group's general contractor, South Carolina-based Low Country Unlimited, which has subcontracted the work to local firms.
This demolition is part of the Hull Group's $22 million development plan for the Alton Square Mall, which was released in April 2017. The plan includes dividing the first and second floor of the mall and place smaller stores on the lower floor and larger box retail and unconventional retailers on the second floor.
A movie theater was also proposed in the investment plan.
"We have ownership very experienced in retail, and they are looking to do a plan," Walker said in previous interviews. "It's kind of sad to see some things go, but I'm happy to see it getting refitted and ready to go again instead of closing. It's going to be fun to see that mall come back to life."
Do you believe the Alton Square Mall has a brighter future ahead?