Last month, roughly five years after raze orders were first issued, and roughly 21 years after it closed, Northridge Mall began to fall. FINALLY.

City contractor HM Brandt, Inc. began knocking down the exterior Boston Store portion of the former mall on March 20, 2024. Today, crews are in the process of wrapping up the first phase of the demolition, and are ahead of schedule.

So what’s next? Well, knocking down the rest of the Northridge complex—approximately 800,000-square-feet of buildings—to make way for future development. And the City of Milwaukee is looking for someone to do it.

A public bid posted to the Department of Neighborhood Services website seeks a new contractor for “asbestos abatement and demolition of the remaining mall buildings.” Meanwhile, a separate city website dedicated to the so-called “Granville Station Redevelopment” lays out a tentative timeline for the project—one that stretches into fall 2025:

Summer 2024

• The City anticipates starting asbestos abatement, hazardous materials removal, and interior cleanup (4-6 month process)

• The City anticipates starting the utility re-alignment activities

Fall/Winter 2024 – Summer 2025

• The City anticipates starting mechanical demoltion of the mall buildings (8-10 month process)

Summer 2025

• The City anticipates starting earth work, site grading, and interim stormwater plan implementation

Fall 2025

• The City anticipates finishing the demolition work of the former mall buildings and getting the site ready for ground up development

In December 2023, Gov. Tony Evers awarded the City of Milwaukee $15 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to redevelop the 58-acre Northridge site. Milwaukee gained full control of the site from China-based U.S. Black Spruce Enterprise Group Inc. in January 2024, via property tax foreclosure. Black Spruce had floated various redevelopment plans for the abandoned mall over the years, though none came close to fruition.

In its many years as an abandoned and increasingly trashed mall, Northridge has become a magnet for urban spelunkers, popular YouTubers, clandestine YouTubers, arsonists, various ne’er-do-wells, and even skateboarders. Those days appear to be numbered, however, so get in while the gettin’s good, folks. (Note: Milwaukee Record does not condone messing around in Northridge.)

“The City is following through on its commitment to address the health and safety issues created at the abandoned mall,” Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson said in a statement on Wednesday. “Residents and businesses on the northwest side have waited too long, and this is a significant step forward for this transformative effort. I again want to thank Governor Tony Evers and his administration for their support of this work. It is a heavy lift and the State of Wisconsin’s partnership has been instrumental in making this change in Milwaukee.”

“Residents of the 9th District should be excited for the future of this site,” Alderwoman Larresa Taylor said in a statement. “My hope is the transformation of the former Northridge Mall sends a message to the business community that the West Brown Deer Road corridor is on the move.”

Want to stay up to date on the Northridge/Granville Station demolition/development? Check out this Engage MKE website. “The City of Milwaukee is working with the Milwaukee community to create the vision for the future of the Northridge area,” the site says. There’s even a place where you can “share your Northridge Mall memories”!

As of this writing, there are zero contributions.

Want more Milwaukee Record? Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and/or support us on Patreon.


New & Wonderful Things: Northridge Mall saga continues

Gov. Evers announces $15 million grant for City of Milwaukee to redevelop blighted Northridge Mall property

Stuff We Missed: The end of sneaking into Northridge Mall?

Watch Thrasher skateboarders “rip the remains” of Northridge Mall

City attorney: Northridge unsecured, unsafe. Countless YouTube videos shot inside Northridge: Yep.

Watch Milwaukee YouTuber Tommy G sneak/break into, mess around in abandoned Northridge Mall

“We’ve Got It!” 10 videos from the ’80s heyday of Northridge Mall

Take another eerie trip through the abandoned Northridge Mall

Some dude “rescued” hundreds of old photos from Northridge Mall and they’re amazing

About The Author

Avatar photo
Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.