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Judge: Northridge Mall demolition can go forward despite owner's appeal

The City of Milwaukee wants to knock the old mall down and build something new, amid fires and crime inside the complex
Northridge Mall
Posted at 12:54 PM, Nov 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-13 08:29:13-05

MILWAUKEE — A judge ruled the City of Milwaukee can continue trying to tear down the abandoned Northridge Mall despite the mall's owners trying to stop the process.

During a hearing on Friday, Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge William Sosnay ruled that the owners, Black Spruce, have a week to submit plans to demolish the complex while city officials have two weeks to submit their plans. Judge Sosnay admitted the city may have to take things into its own hands and tear down the mall, instead of contractors hired by the mall's owners, our partners at the Milwaukee Business Journal reported.

RELATED Northridge Mall up for sale, despite Milwaukee's demolition order

We learned on Nov. 4 that Black Spruce put Northridge Mall up for sale, though a price was not listed. That comes on the heels of the owners filing an appeal to block Sosnay's order to tear the mall down or face thousands of dollars in fines.

Judge Sosnay on Friday rejected Black Spruce's arguments for delaying the demolition, saying that “had they [Black Spruce] not wanted to suffer injury in this business transaction, they would’ve been making efforts to maintain the property and to secure their investment,” according to the BizJournal.

The BizJournal also reported Black Spruce had contemplated converting Northridge Mall into a marketplace for Asia-made goods. The company’s three principals include president Jun Lian and director Zhongzhe Zhang of Zhuhai in China.

Residents in the area have been reacting to news that the building will be destroyed. Delanden Powell lives near the lot and says it’ll be sad to see the old mall gone.

"It's hard to see it go, if it is going to go, because we lost so many stores over the years."

Powell says more shops have been closing than opening. He hopes whatever takes over the location next will be more stores to benefit people living in the area.

The issue over Northridge Mall reemerged after a fire broke out, and the city's fire chief warned his firefighters were facing increasing danger responding to incidents at the dilapidated complex.

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MFD chief shares frustration before deadline to secure Northridge Mall

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