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NORTH RANDALL, Ohio- The proverbial wrecking ball took its first swing at what used to be the entrance to Randall Park Mall’s Dillard’s Department Store on Monday morning.

The shopping center, once considered the largest mall in the world, sits between Warrensville Center and Northfield Roads, just north of Interstate 480. It closed in 2009.

Dawn Goldy of Garfield Heights had to say goodbye to her favorite teenage haunt.  She also took pictures to remember the moment.

“You always hoped they’d bring it back,” she said, “but it never happened.”

“I went there yesterday,” said Jeff Campbell of Campbell’s Sweets Factory in Cleveland.  He helped his father open their second KarmelKorn Shop inside the mall back in 1976. Memories of the grand opening  are bittersweet as the walls come tumbling down 38 years later.

“It’s very painful because Randall Park Mall meant so much to my family,” Campbell said.

Developer Stuart Lichter told Fox8 the property would make an excellent location for an industrial park. He estimated it had the potential to create 1,000 jobs at the site.

Lichter said rehabbing all of the property was not practical, given its intended use for warehousing and light industrial manufacturing. He did say new life would be brought to the old Sears building and the Magic Johnson Movie Theater.  The design of both buildings fits the purpose of a light industrial operation.

The building where Macy’s once stood and where the Burlington Coat Factory continues to operate will not be affected by the development project, at least not yet. Lichter’s company does not own either property.

Demolition is expected to be completed in four to six months.