SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) - It's a bittersweet goodbye to the first mall in the country.
"It's the biggest undertaking the city of Southfield has ever come upon," said Mayor Ken Siver.
After sitting empty for over two years bricks finally began falling off of Northland mall Thursday. Phase one of the demolition is knocking down the old Target and Firestone buildings.
"Both of these buildings are going down first because the asbestos has been removed in them," Siver said.
The city bought the closed center for $2.4 million in 2015 and plans to revamp the 125-acre lot with offices, housing, a few retail stores and green space.
"We've prevented blight, we've prevented dumping and scrapping," Siver said.
City officials putting on their hard hats Thursday to join the demolition team and made a few dents with sledgehammers.
Construction crews say it will take about two weeks to demolish Target and the Firestone building is next.
As further demolition is expected in spring of 2018, a proposal, was already sent to Amazon hoping to make this lot the spot for its second headquarters.
Siver said some of the mall will be saved including its underground infrastructure and the old Hudson's building.
"I hate to see the mall go, I have a lot of memories as a lot of Detroiters do," Siver said. "As Northland changed retailing, retailing has changed again. It is time to reinvent this space."