Demolition begins at Dallas’ Valley View Center after firefighters injured in blaze
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“Our firefighters being hurt was enough of an argument to the state that there was a mortal danger to leaving the building standing as is,” Schultz said. “This is something that should have been done a long time ago.”
She said it could take at least 90 days to tear down and clean up the site.
Scott Beck, CEO of Beck Ventures, the lead property owners of the site, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The 30-acre mall site for years has been one of the key pieces in the city’s plans to redevelop the North Dallas area it sits in, which was rebranded last year as the International District. The estimated $4 billion redevelopment project covers 440 acres, including the Galleria mall. The goal is creating a new mixed-use walkable neighborhood that would include a 20-acre park, 10,000 new homes, new restaurant, arts and entertainment venues, and eventually a DART light rail connection.
The Valley View mall opened in the 1970s and closed in 2015, and most of it was demolished by 2019.
Assistant City Manager Carl Simpson said the demolition began sometime after 2 p.m. He said the demolition had to be moved up because the fire likely weakened the structural integrity of the building remains.
Thursday’s fire comes after several other recent fires at the site. That led to the Police Department sending notice to the property owner in February that the old mall site would be designated as a habitual criminal property.
Dallas firefighters responded to the fire after 4:30 a.m. A group of firefighters became trapped by the fire, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said, but were quickly rescued. One firefighter was burned, while another sustained what Evans described as an “injury of the musculoskeletal variety.”