Rolling Acres Mall is coming down.
The Beacon Journal reports that demolition of the interior part of the long-closed mall has gotten underway, with the area between the former Sears and Dillard's stores the first target of the demolition crews.
The city of Akron took over the mall property after a long foreclosure process ended earlier this year.
Most of Rolling Acres' former department stores are not coming down - they're owned by private businesses now.
But the former JC Penney store was donated to the city of Akron, and will be torn down separately.
On the Web: Akron Beacon Journal, www.ohio.com
One of the topics that many Akron residents have been thinking about for the last few years is what will be the next use for the former Rolling Acres Mall site on the city's west side.
Akron Beacon Journal writer Rick Armon joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the possibility of the former mall being used as a sports complex to add the city of Akron to the ever-growing youth sports tournament industry.
Armon said that the decision regarding the land is one of the biggest that city leaders will be facing in the months to come, but it certainly won't be an easy one.
"I don't know that I see it going forward," Armon said. "There would be a lot of hoops to jump through."
According to Armon, developers came to Akron City Council with plans of developing the land for a multi-sport complex at the former mall site, which has been vacant since 2008.
For the full interview with Rick Armon and Sam Bourquin, click here.
The City of Akron isn't very happy with those urban explorations inside the ruined Rolling Acres Mall. The city now owns the hulking old shopping center after numerous sheriff's sales for back taxes came up empty; Rolling Acres has been a magnet for photographers and thrill-seekers skateboarding and biking inside the mall. Mayor Dan Horrigan issuing a "public safety" message warning people to stay out and says violators will be fully prosecuted.
It hasn't gotten much better since this authorized RCExplorer drone video shot in the winter of 2015.
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(City of Akron) The City of Akron has taken ownership of Rolling Acres Mall and has secured the building. While the City understands there is public interest in the space, there are no plans to give any future tours.
“For everyone’s safety, I request that citizens stay clear of the area. Police will have an increased presence,” stated Mayor Dan Horrigan.
Any trespassers may be prosecuted.
Outgoing Akron city planning director Marco Sommerville isn't leaving City Hall next year.
He'll fill a new role as Deputy Mayor for Intergovermental Affairs, and serve as a senior advisor to new mayor Dan Horrigan. He says Horrigan "likes to listen more than he likes to talk".
One issue that'll be on the city's plate is the long-vacated Rolling Acres Mall, no matter if it's finally sold, or goes back to the city.
Whatever happens, Sommerville says the main priority for the former mall is to bring in new jobs.
"We in the city are landlocked as far as land, there's not a lot of land left in the city of Akron," Sommerville tells WAKR's Jasen Sokol. "And if we could have that land to develop it for jobs, that would be priority number one."
Sommerville says he'd like to see light industrial space or office space at the former mall site.
But he says the city will have to work with the owners of space once taken by the mall's former department stores. Those buildings won't be directly involved in any sale or sheriff's sale of the main part of mall itself.