JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The demolition of the unsalvageable portion of the Mall at Turtle Creek will start on March 15, Jonesboro city officials said Friday.
According to Jonesboro City Director of Communications Bill Campbell, the city received an email around 4:15 p.m. Friday about the decision dealing with a so-called “Red Zone.”
“This “Red Zone” was deemed by Brookfield engineers to be unsalvageable from the March 28 tornado and exists roughly from the eastern edge of the former Victoria’s Secret to the Dillard’s location that has reopened,” city officials said in the media release.
Three weeks ago, the city of Jonesboro issued a 30-day notice to the Mall at Turtle Creek, ordering a cleanup.
According to Mayor Harold Copenhaver, Rick Jackson – the general manager for the mall – had communicated with the city that they plan to have a response on what the next steps will be.
Several stores have either vacated with no plans to return or have reopened in an another area in town since the March 28th tornado ripped through the mall.
Mayor Copenhaver said in January he had remained hopeful about reopening the mall, even if it has to reopen in phases.
He realizes that the loss of the mall impacted the community greatly when a Dillard’s employee thanked him after opening the north end of the mall.
The mayor said, “She started crying and said, ‘thank you for what you’ve done because this is my livelihood and I loved the store I worked in, I love the people in this community, but we felt like we’ve been forgotten.”
On Friday, Copenhaver said the work that will be done is an important first step.
“The most important part is step one, which is removing the immediate danger presented by the hardest hit area that has been sitting, blighted, for almost a year,” Copenhaver said in the media release. “This letter is another encouraging sign that this area of commerce will be servicing the residents again.”
Region 8 News will update on the next steps when they become available.