First Crunch on the Sears Building at Wausau Center Mall Started TodayMay 21, 2021
Deconstruction of the Sears building near Washington Street and 5th Street started this morning, May 21 at 8:00 a.m., when excavators tore down walls that once anchored the largest retailer in the modern world. Sears was one of the original department stores when the Wausau Center Mall opened in 1983 and then closed in 2016 amid plummeting sales. Watch video of demolition here.
It will take up to eight weeks for construction crews to remove the buildings and foundations. HOM Furniture and two parking structures will remain, along with the JC Penny building. Currently, JC Penny will remain in place because it’s located above the west parking ramp.
“It’s exciting to see the first crunch on the Sears building,” said Chuck Ghidorzi, managing director of Wausau Opportunity Zone, Inc.
Wausau Opportunity Zone (WOZ) purchased the Wausau Center Mall in February 2020 with funding from the Dwight and Linda Davis Foundation and the Judd S. Alexander Foundation, in partnership with the City of Wausau.
Ghidorzi said the excavators will deconstruct the buildings while water will be used to minimize dust and debris during the process. Spectators are asked by the city to practice safety and watch from across the street near the Marathon County Courthouse.
Construction fences went up on Monday around the perimeter of Wausau Center Mall and on Tuesday water mains leading to the mall were turned off. Everything is moving along as planned according to WOZ.
“Wausau Center Mall was a major attraction in downtown Wausau at one time, but today’s deconstruction marks the beginning of a new chapter with a promising future,” said Ghidorzi.
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