Kansas shopping mall demo begins
The 500,000-square-foot White Lakes mall has been vacant since 2010.
Photo courtesy of the Topeka Capital-Journal.

Kansas shopping mall demo begins

White Lakes Mall in Topeka, Kansas, has been empty since 2010.

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March 9, 2022

The demolition process has begun for the former White Lakes Mall in Topeka, Kansas. Local media reports indicate the project will take about four months, and that Grantville, Kansas-based McPherson Wrecking Inc. is the demo contractor for the job.

Asbestos abatement work at the site took several weeks, according to Topeka-based WIBW-TV. The work also follows a fire (determined to be arson) that took place in December of 2020.

The AbandonedKS website says the 500,000-square-foot mall opened in late 1964. The website also describes what it calls a “slow and painful demise” for White Lakes Mall that involved losing anchor tenants in the late 1980s.

The mall’s prior owner tried to lease out space to office tenants, but by 2007 that strategy had proven unsuccessful. Kent Lindermuth and his firm KDL Inc. bought the property in 2009 but in 2012 had to file for bankruptcy, according to AbandonedKS.

WIBW quotes a broker for KDL as saying the demolition of the mall can be seen as “a new chapter” in the city’s history.

Redevelopment plans remain unclear, according to coverage by the Topeka Capital-Journal newspaper, and depend in part on if or when KDL sells the property.