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Crews clearing debris at Helena’s Capital Hill Mall as major demolition work wraps up

Posted at 4:54 PM, Apr 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-19 20:46:32-04

(HELENA) Large piles of debris are now all that remain of Helena’s Capital Hill Mall building.

Demolition work at the mall began in February.

“We’ve been really pleased,” said Mark Esponda, a partner with D&M Development, the company redeveloping the mall site. “Our contractor’s done a great job and got the building down pretty quickly.”

The mall, built in the 1960s, had been mostly empty for years. Its last remaining retail store closed in 2017.

Esponda said it will take another four to six weeks to haul the remaining debris from the 13-acre mall site. The concrete will be ground into fill for other construction, and the steel will be sent to metal recycling businesses.

D&M, led by Esponda and Helena developer Dick Anderson, is planning to redevelop the site for mixed use.

“We have a good idea of what we think it might look like,” Esponda said.

They are currently looking at building apartments on the east side of the property. There could be a hotel in the middle, and more businesses to the west.

“We have engineers and architects working on the site plan, the overall master site plan,” Esponda said. “We’ve been out talking to different folks about food establishments and different commercial spaces that we have available, and getting tenants or purchasers of lots to come in.”

Esponda said, once the site is clear, they will have to start getting ready for any new buildings.

“We’ll have to do a lot of infrastructure work with water and sewer mains and bringing power back into the site,” he said.

Esponda said a full plan for the site could be finalized by this fall. Construction on the new buildings could begin in the fall or next spring.