WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The Palm Beach Mall, an iconic staple in the West Palm Beach community for nearly five decades, will be torn down Thursday morning.
The plan is to build up the patch of land with shops and stores with hopes of attracting local and tourist dollars.
The demolition will take two and a half months to complete. Once done, the property will consist of flat sand on which the new construction of a fashion center will begin. JCPenny will remain on the property.
In an effort to be environmentally friendly, the waste, which is 3,500 tons of metal, will be recycled. The rest of the scrap will be taken to a landfill.
City officials hope the new fashion center will attract more new developments to the area like the proposed upscale rental community developers plan to put on Palm Beach Lakes and Congress.
Mayor Jeri Muoio said the project will also bring more than 4,000 jobs to the area, which will result in $82 million in wages and an estimated $300 million in economic activity.
"We're talking about, sort of, all four corners of that area being further developed and we'll see a whole different economic energy in that area," said Mayor Muoio.
The city has also put out an invitation for bids from sub contractors to help construct 10 retail buildings encompassing approximately 460,000 square feet on the site. EMJ Corporation is the general contractor on the project.
Bids are due to the city no later than Feb. 1 at 2 p.m.