It's sat empty for more than a decade and fallen deep into disrepair. Now, the City of Garland says the time has come to replace the old Hypermart building with something new.
"It's been an eyesore for more than ten years," said Garland City Council Member Rich Aubin. "People drive by it every day and it is not a great entrance to our city."
Opened in 1987, the building was one of the first attempts at a "Super Walmart concept" to see if such a business would work. For years, shoppers would flock to the giant blue and red store near Garland Avenue and Kingsley Road -- but ever since it closed in 2006, it has remained vacant.
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There had been some talk in recent years about developing the property into a mini-warehouse with storage units.
Aubin, who lives in that part of Garland, did not want to see that happen. In fact, it's what pushed him to run for City Council in 2016.
"I just couldn't imagine the city would let that happen," said Aubin. "That's how I came to be involved in the city and then got on City Council, looking for that opportunity to do something with this land and develop something new."
The City of Garland purchased the property late last year and decided the best way to give it new life was to demolish the 235,000 square foot building.
Tuesday, demolition crews gave Aubin a sledgehammer and let him take the first swing.
"When you look at something and there's something blighted that's on there, it's hard to envision something really awesome and great for the neighborhood," said Aubin. "And so I think taking it down will show that the city is interested in really redeveloping South Garland."
Cherry Companies, the contractor doing the demolition, said it will take a week to completely drop the building and then four to five weeks to clear the debris and remove the slab.
The city has not yet decided what will go on the property once it's cleared. Aubin indicated he and other city leaders want to get input from residents before they make any final decisions.