Hundreds Celebrate the Demolition of Palm Springs Building
The Desert Fashion Plaza has stood mostly vacant for years, but now they are ready to tear it down.
"Tear it down for a new downtown," the audience cheered at Thursday's celebration.
Champagne toasts, dancing, and then the moment everyone was waiting for, the demolition.
"I think it was very very nice, but I'd like to see a little more damage on the building," said Mary, a Minnesota resident.
"Exciting but with the size of the holes that they made it may take a couple months to tear this thing down, so let's hope progress moves a little faster than that," said Palm Springs resident, Steve Carter.
The serious demolition starts Friday. The Old Bank of America will be gone in a month, the rest of the mall gone in about a year.
"I think its a very exciting thing because I've been here before this mall was even built. I used to walk to this mall when it was 125 degrees outside, and it was like a little sanctuary," said Palm Springs resident, TJ Briedo.
The new Desert Fashion Plaza is made possible partly by taxpayer dollars. Proposition J, a sales tax hike passed in November, will fund about 43 million dollars of the project.
"I was very supportive of Measure J, I helped a lot of people understand what it was about, and I think I brought a lot of people over to the right side," said Palm Springs resident, Donna Chaban.
Once the buildings are reduced to rubble, the construction begins.
"On the corner they are going to see a really nice plaza and its going to be activated with restaurants and retail and we would love to see an Apple store sitting right there, so that's the kind of tenants we're going to be going after," said developer John Wessman.
Palm Springs Mayor Steve Pougnet said, "This will become a park, an open park while they do construction drawings and the architecture, which could take 12 to 18 months to demo the rest of it and start building so that at the end of 2014 we're having another big celebration down here."
So in several years, a new chance to get together, and toast, dance and cheer.
"The party atmosphere is great, we missed the champagne," said Chuck Yates, another Palm Springs resident excited to see the building go.