By Benjamin Schiller DEWITT, N.Y. (NCC News) –
The Shoppingtown Mall used to be a place full of love and energy from young kids.
But the mall in Dewitt has been a ghost town for now more than two and a half years.
The mall has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It was once a landmark to local residents, but now a memory of the past.
“It makes you think about what your childhood was and how things change in a very short period of time,” said Damon Ostrowski, a former Dewitt resident who was in town for a friend’s wedding.
Within the next few years, the parking lot filled today with tumbleweeds and pot holes could transform into a district filled with shops, restaurants, apartments, and office buildings.
The Director of Development of Housing Visions Diana Jakimoski said this demolition plan can’t happen until the four companies involved in the project can get full acquisition of the site.
“The soonest anything could happen would be late 2023 with the demolition of some of the sites,” said Jakimoski.
But there’s a process that needs to reach the finish line before the demolition could begin, according to Onondaga County Judge and Legal Expert Patrick Kilmartin.
“I think the permitting processes and the due diligence processes will continue for a number of months,” said Kilmartin.
Once the permits are approved it could take some more time before families could return to the property.
“It could take a number of years before the party could kind of fall and be repaired, so it will take a little bit of time before it could kind of resurrect itself,” said Kilmartin.
The companies earlier this week submitted eminent domain power paperwork to attempt to get full acquisition rights of the property.
Shoppingtown Mall will remain in place until all the permits and demolition plans are approved by Onondaga County and the town of Dewitt.