What was the pride of Milwaukee in the 1970s has now become an eye sore. The Northridge Mall on the corner of Highway 100 and Highway 181 that has stood abandoned for nearly 20 years is set to return to court starting Monday.
The city has tried several times to demolish the building financed by former senator Herb Kohl, but to no avail. After a security agreement between the city and the mall’s owner, U.S. Black Spruce Enterprises, an electocution and 4 separate fires, all linked to arson.
Now city leaders are fed up and want answers.
“This is an absolute outrage,” Milwaukee Fire chief Aaron Lipski said to WTMJ’s Jeff Wagner. “We need to get oursleves on the docket for an emergency order so that this building can be officially declared a nuisance propertry and we can raize the property.”
“If I sound irritated tonight, then you’re hearing me. This has to stop," Chief Lipski said. #Milwaukee Fire responded to another suspected arson at the former Northridge Mall building Wednesday evening. The fourth fire in less than a month.#Wisconsin https://t.co/D0hyAp5CNU pic.twitter.com/Ixg1q65AIx— Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin (@PFFW) August 12, 2022
Mayor Cavalier Johnson agrees. “These actions are dangerous, they’re reckless.”
State law includes fines or per-day financial penalties against U.S. Black Spruce if the property is not in compliance with the 2019 agreement, albeit the agreement does not specifically disclose that law. Previously, U.S. Black Spruce’s attorneys responded to the claimed company representatives believed the agreement ended following a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge’s ruling in the city’s favor in early 2020. U.S. Black Spruce later appealed that ruling.