White Lakes Mall set to be demolished, connected business ‘relieved’

White Lakes Mall set to be demolished, connected business ‘relieved’
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 9:42 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka City Council decided the fate of the vacant White Lakes Mall building Tuesday night.

The council unanimously voted to approve the demolition of the building. It’s a decision that has many relieved and anticipating the future.

Many are eager to see the White Lakes Mall building come down, but not as much as COO of Mainline Printing, John Parker, Jr.

Mainline Printing is connected to the property.

“We appreciate the council stepping up and doing the right thing and helping the city move on from what has become an extremely dangerous and blighted property,” said Parker Jr.

Parker Jr. says the risk of a business connected to an empty building became clear to him after a devastating fire last year.

“The fire on December 29th, 2020 shut us down for twenty-four hours,” said Parker Jr. “Thank God for the Topeka Fire Department, they did a great job of putting the fire out and we didn’t experience any damage, but that sort of uncertainty injected into a business is difficult to deal with.”

The charred remains now present several challenges for the business.

“The mall has reached a condition in terms of safety hazard for our employees, a business risk for our company, and it has become such an eye-sore for the city of Topeka.”

The council’s sentiments were that the end of one Topeka business’s history, provides the opportunity for more to grow.

“Thinking about adding on to our building whether its the east or north has always been a nervous conversation because we don’t know what’s going to happen and so the puzzle piece of the mall going away is a big deal for us.”

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