DULUTH – After approximately one month, an estimated 80 tons of snow entered the common area of Miller Hill Mall during the collapse of its roof, providing evidence that leaks still persist in the building’s roof.
After the event, the shopping center, which is owned by Simon Property Group, was initially instructed by the city authorities to be cleared out on the morning of March 14th.
Approximately one week afterwards, her possessions were delivered to the parking area on her behalf. She was unable to enter the premises again in order to recover them. She and five additional individuals dashed outdoors when the roof collapsed, whereas Echo Bos, a mall employee of many years, mentioned she was still inside the structure.
Prior to the shopping center being able to permit tenants to come back, authorization from municipal inspectors was necessary.
All of the life safety systems have been restored, with the exception of those in the immediate affected area, which are still closed. This information was provided by Officer Kelly, Public Information Officer for the city of Duluth.
Latuska mentioned, “Once the repair work is finished, the company will also perform a roof examination on the section that collapsed.” As per Latuska, Simon employed Northland Engineering to carry out a study on the building’s structural soundness.
Latuska stated, “The building regulation necessitates an examination every three years for a structure of that magnitude.” “The proprietor bears the responsibility of upholding the structure.”
On March 24, the Center Service Auditor’s County in St. Louis reopened, and on March 22, the Essentia pharmacy center and surgery center in Hill Miller reopened. The following day, normal business hours resumed at Plaza Health Hill Miller facilities. The reopening plan began on March 19, with a seven-phase approach.
Numerous establishments within the shopping center have resumed operations, whereas those in proximity to the site of the structural failure remain shuttered.
We encourage shoppers to visit our social media accounts and retailer websites for updated information on the reopening status. We appreciate your patience as not all retailers are able to open at this time. The reopening process is currently underway, as stated on the “Miller Hill Mall website notice”.
Bos, who has been employed in different establishments across the mall for the last 18 years, expressed, “particularly with regards to witnessing the ongoing leaks, individuals appear extremely cautious. Since resuming operations, the business is experiencing a significant decline in activity and is notably tranquil.”
Within the shopping center, the News Tribune discovered 15 spots where pails, caution signs for wet floors, and other signs of water infiltration were visible, while surveying the mall on Wednesday, as the temperatures climbed to the mid-70s.
Inside the store, within the section of the mall that was blocked off near Dick’s Sporting Goods, a mop bucket and wet floor sign were situated among the treadmill display. Behind emptied book shelves in Barnes & Noble, near the entry, a visible yellow wet floor sign could be seen along with removed floor tiles.
In the middle of Visionworks, there was a sign indicating a wet floor. Adjacent racks and displays in the store had four buckets with signs cautioning about the wet floor. Similarly, in DSW, there were also signs indicating wet floors.
There was noticeable water damage on the ceiling in that locality, with a tarpaulin covering a section of the upper ceiling, and two water pails were placed in the corridor in front of Helzberg Diamonds.
Wet floor indicators were positioned amidst the merchandise at Victoria’s Secret. An additional container and indicator were positioned below the absent ceiling tiles in the hallway adjacent to Hot Topic.
As per unidentified mall employees who preferred to stay anonymous out of concern for potential consequences, GameStop experienced the absence of various ceiling tiles above the cash register section. This resulted in approximately $3,000 worth of merchandise being impaired due to a leak during the Christmas weekend.
In the food court, close to El Burrito, a wet floor sign and bucket could be seen. Similarly, in the hall near the Health Plaza, another sign and bucket were present.
The ceiling tile that Claire couldn’t find was located underneath a bucket. The walls, which had just been plastered, showed signs of dampness near the floor. Scaffolding and equipment were blocking the area where Caribou Coffee was situated.
According to Bos, maintenance teams at the mall ascend to the rooftop in order to identify the source of leaks and clear away ice and snow. The leakage is then reported to the mall by the staff.
“According to Bos, after conversing with fellow colleagues, it appears that the majority of shops in the shopping center experience leaks.”
Bos stated that while working at 21 Rue last fall, employees at “the lakes” nicknamed the large store were experiencing two leaks.
Bos stated that he had spent 18 years in the mall, and every shop he had visited had experienced a leak. He further explained that extensive areas of the store would become drenched as a result of these leaks.
The boss mentioned that there was a leak at Build-A-Bear, which had been previously fixed but was now leaking again. Additionally, there was a leak at Banks & Christopher, where the product was damaged. Moreover, she saw a minor leak while working at Topic Hot in the back room, as well as a heavy leak while working at Bryant Lane. This happened over the course of several years, according to Boss.
“I wonder if I should be wearing hats like these guys when I see everybody waiting just next to the section. It seems like everybody is on the edge and walking hard.”
Megan Reuer, the director of marketing and business development at the mall, could not be reached for a comment.