Omaha’s Crossroads Mall began to crumble Wednesday as demolition equipment tore into the former Sears Auto Center to clear the way for a $500 million mixed-use center.
“We didn’t talk about it — we’re doing it,” said Chip James of Lockwood Development, which last August announced a partnership with Century Development to transform the 40-acre area bounded by 72nd, 75th, Dodge and Cass Streets.
Mayor Jean Stothert, who also was at the site Wednesday, said the original enclosed shopping mall that opened in 1960 will always be a part of Omaha’s history. But it had dwindled to just a handful of stores.
“The new Crossroads will revive this corner,” she said.
Demolition of the mall (minus the Target store that will remain) should be done next June, James said. The 2,200-stall parking garage to the north also will remain intact.
Already torn down are the former Best Buy and Applebee’s buildings to the west. Lockwood’s Emily O’Connor said some demolition work already had begun inside the mall structure.
The new venture, “The Crossroads,” could reach 10 stories at its high point and is on track to open in 2024. O’Connor said work is going according to schedule.
In its new form, The Crossroads is to include a series of structures containing offices; apartments; hotel rooms; retail stores; fitness, dining and entertainment venues; and a “signature” pavilion.