Feb
15

Mall Destroyed in Movie Destroyed in Real Life

February 15, 2012

The story is over for a piece of metro Chicago real estate made famous by “The Blues Brothers.”

The Dixie Square Mall in south suburban Harvey, which appeared in the famous car chase scene of “The Blues Brothers” movie 30 years ago, is coming down. The official start of the demolition project was announced Wednesday.

“Now that demolition and clean-up of the vacant mall have officially begun, the city of Harvey and the state can finally move forward with plans for economic development of the site and surrounding area,” said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Director Warren Ribley. “This project and subsequent redevelopment plans will help bring jobs to the Harvey area.”

The project is being funded through a $4 million federal grant from the state to the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) and the city of Harvey to assist with the clean-up and demolition of the mall, including asbestos removal.

Illinois got the money out of the $169 million it received in “IKE” federal disaster recovery funds.

As part of the project, which is expected to be completed by late summer, 42 jobs will be created, including 18 full-time opportunities.

The mall, situated on more than 39 acres, was recently condemned by the city of Harvey due to concerns involving asbestos and the stability of the structure. The area has also required constant attention from local law enforcement.

Among the projects being considered for the site or nearby include housing, retail and light industrial.

“The demolition of the Dixie Square Mall will help revitalize the local economy and create much needed jobs,” said Illinois Governor Pat Quinn.

“Although we will always remember the Dixie Mall as the location for one of the most iconic scenes in ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie, it is time for this now vacant building to be torn down to make way for more economic development for the Harvey community.”

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