Demolition begins on Raleigh Springs Mall - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Demolition begins on Raleigh Springs Mall

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(WMC-TV) - Crews are ripping down part of the Raleigh Springs Mall.

Demolition began Tuesday on the old JC Penney.

People familiar with how vibrant the Raleigh Springs Mall once was say it has been on life support for quite some time. On Tuesday, the plug was pulled on at least one part of the building.

"There was nothing left but to tear it down," said Juanita Jones, Raleigh Springs Mall manager.

Crime and copper theft has been all too common inside the mall's abandoned buildings in recent years.

Mall manager Juanita Jones is passionate about ridding the Raleigh shopping center of its negative reputation.

Jones says the revitalization is a part of preserving those memories while creating new ones for future generations.

New stores, government offices, and a community college are all possibilities for the space. Jones says she has been meeting with city developer Robert Lipscomb and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton about rebirth.

"I'm already talking to a huge, big chain about coming in here and building their store here," said Jones.

Raleigh residents like Donald Green say any change is welcome.

"Whatever they do is going to benefit me," he said.

"This community wants this mall. They need this mall," said Jones.

Jones said the demolition of JC Penney should be complete by the end of the week. She says she is soliciting community support and anyone or any business interested can stop by the mall at any time.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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