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Owners have 20 days to tear down Northridge Mall

Posted at 5:04 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-13 16:31:55-04

MILWAUKEE -- City officials are ordering the owners of the Northridge Malls to tear down or repair the building within 20 days.

“Northridge changed from being a gem on the Northwest side to a challenge,” said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Inge Adams remembers Northridge as the place to hang out with her friends. They would spend an hour or two every Friday at the mall.

“We would walk, shop and go to the Candy counter at Sears,” said Adams.

Photo by Jon Rev.

Photo credit: Jonrevn. To View more images of Northridge Mall in its prime days, visit

She said it’s sad to see the building rotting away.

“I just want something that would be a positive in the community something that would inspire the young people of today,” said Adams.

The mall closed down in 2003. Boston Store and Value City attempted to revitalize the area, but with no luck.

In 2008, a Chinese investment group called Black Spruce Enterprise bought the almost 900,000 square foot mall. Initially, the plan was to implement a $6 million dollar renovation.

Alderwoman Chantia Lewis said she contacted the owners multiples times to have them fulfill their commitment, but they have shown no interest in remodeling the mall.

“We will not tolerate this anymore. This is a nuisance," said Lewis.

Mayor Tom Barrett said it’s become a safety hazard. Vandals enter into the building almost daily and the property has become a dumping site.

Alderwoman Lewis said the vandals became a bigger issue once a YouTube star transformed the mall into a winter wonderland for kids.

“It’s been insane, and now more and more kids are getting into it. We have seen signs of a homeless population getting into the building. They have been burning up shopping carts inside, so it’s definitely a safety hazard,” said Lewis.

The city owns the piece of the mall where Boston Store once stood.

Officials say they are in the process of tearing it down. The rest of the land is valued just over $81,000. The cost of repairs would exceed half the value to the land. That met the requirement for the City to issue a Raze order.

“Dangerous unabated code violations exist in the part of the mall not owned by the city of Milwaukee and the work required to remake the building far exceeded the value of the building,” said Barrett.

The owners have 20 days to repair or tear down the property or the city will do it then bill the owners.

Video courtesy of Jon Rev.