Olathe’s Great Mall of the Great Plains is coming down.
VanTrust Real Estate and along with McCownGordon Construction plan to start demolishing the mall at 8 a.m. Monday. About 15 workers will manage the tear-down, which will take about six months.
Burlington Coat Factory will remain open during the demolition.
The current owner, the Great Olathe Center LLC, an entity of the Van Tuyl Group, said it has not determined the next use for the site.
When it opened at Interstate 35 and 151st Street in August 1997, the $110 million, 812,000-square-foot mall attracted nearly 1 million visitors in its first month of operations.
The so-called “value center” offered a mix of stores selling merchandise at bargain prices — one of only eight such malls in the country. It also emphasized convenience with the 160 stores all on one level, and motorized scooters for the physically disabled and rental strollers available. A second entertainment phase was scheduled to open in 1999.
But the Great Mall soon began to struggle and never recovered from the economic downturn, changes in customers’ shopping habits and other factors. It shut down in September 2015. Some retailers relocated, but some closed for good.