Bulldozers Start Crumbling Away At North Hills Mall
Posted April 23, 2003
Updated February 2
RALEIGH, N.C. — The wrecking ball took its first swing at North Hills Mall Wednesday morning. The 38-year-old mall will be replaced by a new concept developers like to call "Main Street."
For many years, North Hills was Raleigh's mall. When it opened in 1965, it was the only enclosed mall between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta. Increased competition left North Hills empty toward the end of its run.
With the decision to demolish the mall, a new concept begins. Developers plan on building an open-air mall that will feature retail stores, offices, a hotel and condominiums. The existing JC Penney store remains open and will be part of the new development. It will be joined by a Target store and a 14-screen cinema.
"All of us enjoyed shopping here 20 years ago and we want to recreate that again in today's vision to make it a place of community and a place where people want to come," developer John Kane said.
Rick Strickland looked as bulldozers tore down the Raleigh landmark and a piece of his past.
"We used to come up here on our bikes and hang out at the mall, stop around Scotty's and then go to the gameroom at Woolworths," he said. "[I have] a lot of memories and I'm hoping for the best. Hopefully, it will be the start of something good."
Developers said despite the rise and fall of the old North Hills mall, the north Raleigh location and demographics are key to the new concept's success.
It is a concept that developers said "will function as a social magnet, where folks can shop, dine relax and meet their friends."
Construction on the new North Hills mall is set to start in June. The new mall is scheduled to open in the fall of 2004.