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When the walls come tumbling down

JC Penney demolition begins at mall site

-Daily Freeman-Journal photo by Kriss Nelson Demolition continues at Crossroads Mall, where the former JC Penney store used to be.

FORT DODGE — A gaping hole has opened in the north side of the old JC Penney store at Crossroads Mall as crews begin to tear it down.

The demolition job is the latest step in the redevelopment of the mall into a site called Corridor Plaza that will feature multiple buildings housing stores, offices and apartments.

”Demo has started,” said BJ Stokesbary, a spokesman for Crossroads Plaza Development LLC, of Ankeny. ”That will take place here over the next 60 to 90 days.”

According to Stokesbary, the old JC Penney store on the north side of the mall will be completely demolished, and at least half of the old Younkers store at the mall’s east end will come down this year.

Next, the crews will work on clearing the way for new roads through the complex.

A new section of South 27th Street will link First Avenue South and Fifth Avenue South. A new section of Second Avenue South will go between South 25th Street and South 29th Street.

”We won’t get them in this year just due to the weather,” Stokesbary said.

He said the roads and related infrastructure will be completed early next summer.

Work is also underway at two other spots in the mall complex.

Near the corner of First Avenue South and 29th Street, the parking lot has been torn up to make way for the construction of a new UnityPoint Health — Clinic Express. It will be a 3,800-square-foot building with four exam rooms. X-ray and lab services will be provided there also. It is expected to open next summer.

Construction of the clinic’s foundation is expected to begin ”in the next few weeks,” Stokesbary said.

On the opposite side of the site, close to Fifth Avenue South, work is underway to build a Discount Tire store.

Late last year, the former Sears store at the mall was demolished. Eventually, the rest of the mall will also be knocked down.

In its place will rise eight retail buildings; seven mixed-use buildings with stores, offices and apartments; an office building; a gas station; the clinic; and a hotel.

A 10,000-square-foot green space is planned for the center of the site.

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