The former Valley View Mall is in the local spotlight again now that a deadline is scheduled for the site’s last round of demolition.
The final stage will take place by January 1, 2023, according to city Councilmember Jaynie Schultz.
The former mall, located off I-635 LBJ Freeway and Preston Road, has remained abandoned and in decay for over a decade. The constant delays in developing “Dallas Midtown” — the name given to the development site — have resulted in back-and-forth squabbles between Beck and council members over which party was financially responsible for the cost of new sanitary sewer infrastructure.
“It’s a waste of our hopes and dreams, and it makes me sad. I just want to focus on the vision and get this moving,” said Schultz, whose father worked in the Mall’s Sanger-Harris store when she was young.
“It was always such a joy for us to come here to the mall. The food court was such a big deal. It was an amazing place,” she recalled.
According to council members, the demolition is a long time coming, and they blame Beck for the decade-long delays. City Hall has reportedly grown annoyed watching the dilapidated structure fall into decay instead of seeing it re-developed and re-branded into what members now call “The Dallas International District.”
“We’ve respected the developer’s rights for a long time, but now it’s time to respect the rights of the people who live here,” Schultz said. “It is long past time to bring down this property and make it ready for development,” she added.
On the other side, however, Beck blames the City of Dallas for stalling the sanitary sewer infrastructure, which he claimed was finished only five weeks ago, according to NBC 5.
“By the City’s delinquency in allowing the sanitary sewer to be put in, we were unable to start. Now that that has happened, as of five weeks ago, the project can actually begin,” Beck suggested. “From a deadline perspective, I think it’s disingenuous that the city is pushing this issue. We waited for them.”
However, when The Dallas Express interviewed Beck in August 2022 about the delays, he also claimed at that time that it had been completed a few weeks before. Whatever the timeframe, the official demolition date has been authorized for the start of 2023.
Still, Beck said that asbestos abatement had been underway inside the remaining structure for months, which could continue into early 2023. Demolition of the final structure would happen soon after that, according to Beck.
“It is not the responsibility of taxpayers to pay for a developer’s needs,” Schultz said. “Everything else was left for them to do, and they have not done anything.”
Even once the building is demolished, however, construction might not begin immediately. Beck told The Dallas Express that development of the site would not continue until macroeconomic conditions improved.
“It’s all about market timing at this stage, and now is simply not the right time to build,” Beck said in August, explaining that inflation and rising interest rates have made realizing a return on investment less feasible.
“The last man standing relating to the Valley View project is us,” Beck recently said about his development firm. “We’ve been at it for ten years now. We anticipate being at it for another ten to twenty years as this thing is built out,” he explained.