Advertisement

Demolition order from the City of Topeka sent to White Lakes Mall owner

Demolition order from the City of Topeka sent to White Lakes Mall owner
Published: Aug. 19, 2021 at 5:17 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City of Topeka has ordered the owner of the White Lakes Mall, KDL Incorporated, to demolish the building or sell it to new investors to demolish.

Topeka developer Henry McClure shared a video from inside the mall. It was taken before a late December fire that caused $100,000 worth of damage.

McClure said, “Broken glass, I’m seeing everything like, it looks like it’s been stripped like people have been ransacking it, just total destruction, and mayhem. Project Mayhem from Fight Club.”

The City of Topeka said the mall never met the criteria for demolition, until the fire. An order issued June 2nd states the structure is so deteriorated, dangerous, unsafe and/or unsanitary that the cost to repair it is unreasonable.

City of Topeka Director of the Property Maintenance Unit Mike Haugen said, “It wasn’t appealed at district court so we could move forward. At this time though, we’re on a holding pattern as this is a rather expensive demolition.”

Haugen said if the owners do not demo the building or do not find someone to take over -- taxpayers could foot the bill of more than $1,000,000.

He said his unit receives calls about needing to fix things in and around the mall and he knows many people feel it’s an eyesore, but it is private property, so they must follow the legal process. They want to give the owner every opportunity so no dates are set for potential demolition.

“We’re providing them all the opportunity we can to allow them to get the building demolished on their own dime. If we reach a point where we’ll have to determine when that is, that we don’t see anything progressing, then we can move forward in the demolition process.”

McClure said he knows of people interested in buying the property, demolishing it, then re-purposing it, but would not name who.

“As a commercial real estate broker and developer you probably could look at saving some of the steel and maybe today, even some of the steel that didn’t get burned but sometimes it’s just better to go back to dirt,” he said.

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The City of Topeka has ordered the owner of the White Lakes Mall, KDL, Inc., to demolish the building or sell it to new investors to demolish in 30 days.

The order states the Administrative Hearing Officer finds the structure is so deteriorated or has become so dangerous, unsafe and unsanitary that the cost to repair the structure is unreasonable.

Officials with the city say it could cost more than $1,000,000 with taxpayer money if the city has to do it.

An official with the city says the mall never met the criteria for demolition, up until a fire in late December that caused about $100,000 in damage on the outside and inside of the buildings.

We’ve received exclussive video from the inside of the mall. The video comes from Henry McClure, he is a real estate broker and developer. He says he knows of people interested in buying the White Lakes Mall, demolishing it, then re-purposing the lot. He believes it’s too lost and they should sell it for parts and create new methods of profit in the area, not only for the mall but the surrounding businesses on SW Topeka Boulevard.

We’ll have the full story tonight on 13 News at 10.

Copyright 2021 WIBW. All rights reserved.