Demolition of Helena’s Capital Hill Mall started at 8 a.m. Thursday.
The mall, built in the 1960s, has been mostly empty for years. J.C. Penney, the last remaining retail store, closed its doors in 2017.
“It’s exciting for us to to be able to move forward with the project,” Mark Esponda of D&M Development, the company planning to redevelop the property, said Wednesday. “I think it’s also exciting for the community to see the progress, and it’ll be good to see what comes of the site.”
Esponda said it will take at least a month to bring the entire building down and clear the site.
He estimated about 70 or 80 percent of the debris will be recycled. The steel will be taken to metal recycling businesses, while much the concrete and other materials will be used as fill for other construction. The remaining 20 to 30 percent of the debris will go to the landfill.