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The teardown of the Mall begins

Updated: Mar. 15, 2021 at 3:53 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - For the first time in almost a year, parts of the Turtle Creek Mall are being demolished.

Several viewers and KAIT cameras caught crews beginning to tear down the section of the Mall that was damaged by the March 28, 2020, EF-3 tornado.

“I went out to the mall this morning and met with the general manager and the leader of the demolition team. I’m happy to see this day come, and I will be happier still when it’s all cleaned up and some of our most valuable retail space is back in business.”

While city officials originally reported the demolition process would take a month, the mall general manager later clarified it won’t to be until mid-June before it is completed.

In Jan. the city of Jonesboro issued a 30-day notice to the Mall at Turtle Creek, ordering a cleanup.

The owners of the mall responded 30-days later and agreed to begin demolition of the unsalvagable parts of the mall.

Brookfield Properties of Chicago owns the Turtle Creek Mall and has not responded to multiple requests by KAIT as to the future of the Mall. The last correspondence with Brookfield was the 6-month anniversary of the tornado when they released the following statement on Sept. 28, 2020;

It is our hope to rebuild the center and we are working toward this goal. Due to the global pandemic, our timeline will be extended but the community is our top priority.

A handful of stores have reopened in different locations since the tornado.

The “anchor stores,” Barnes and Noble announced they would not be returning to Jonesboro.

Region 8 News has requested an update from Best Buy representatives, but they’ve refused to release any updates on the electronics store returning to Jonesboro.

Dillards, which was heavily damaged, reopened a few months later in June.

JCPenney reopened a few months after Dillards in August.

Bath and Body Works told Region 8 News they planned to reopen, but neither date nor location was given.

The Buckle moved to a new location and reopened.

Build a Bear told Region 8 News they planned to reopen, but neither date nor location was given.

Chico’s announced in Jan. 2020 they would not return.

Hibbett Sports reopened on Parker Road.

Kirkland’s announced they were going to build back and reopen, but little to no work has been seen at their location.

Shoe Show also reopened in a new location.

Ulta was torn down to the steel beams and reopened in 2020.

The remaining stores in the Mall at Turtle Creek have never responded to KAIT’s multiple requests for updates.

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