The Salem Mall, dormant for more than a decade with debris still standing, will get $200K of cleanup

The Salem Mall has been vacant for more than a decade, but the city and county will soon start a final cleanup of the area.

Montgomery County and the City of Trotwood have secured a $200,000 federal Community Development Block Grant to help with cleanup costs. The cleanup will likely cost more than that, said Erik Collins, director of the community and economic development department for Montgomery County.

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The property has been vacant since the city demolished the mall in 2006, and Collins said debris still remains from the demolition. The mall opened in 1966 but suffered a decline in the 1990s when two of its anchor stores, JCPenny and Lazarus, closed. Sears remained as a freestanding store.

Fred Burkhardt, executive director of the Trotwood Community Improvement Corp., said the cleanup may take a year or longer.

“We would really like to see this move faster, but projects this big don’t tend to move fast,” he said. “They tend to move at a glacial speed.”

Burkhardt said there are no plans yet for the future of the site.

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