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Piece by piece, wall by wall, what used to be the Downtown Plaza Mall is quickly becoming a large pile of rubble.

The south half of the mall between 5th and 6th streets is completely gone, and crews are abating the inside of Macy's East, which will come down early next week.

"Everything we take out now is free and clear of hazardous material," Turner Construction Project Manager Gary Ralls said. "Then we go in and push everything out, that's the soft demolition, then we take down the structure piece by piece."

Demolition is right on schedule, after Macy's crews will begin tearing down the north side of the mall.

Ralls took News10 on a tour inside the mall, as he pointed out the massive piles of concrete and twisted metal, he boosted their goal of recycling 95 percent of the materials.

Outside, he also pointed out the noise barriers installed this week. Noise levels are monitored often to ensure no disturbance to the surrounding area.

"It's a guy with a microphone," Ralls said. "It's been good so far, in fact, the levels have been under."

Ralls also said everything so far has gone according to plan, but there's a lot of work left to do.

"When we start digging down, and digging the bowl, that's when we expect to maybe find some things that we may not know about," Ralls said

What hasn't gone to plan though, is many people not realizing there are still stores open west of 5th Street. Places like River City Brewing, Forever 21, Starbucks and the Century Theatres aren't going anywhere.

"It's a little bit slower, because people don't realize we're open," Century Theatres General Manager Robert Morgan said. "We're reaching out to get the message out that we're still open."

By the way, News10 checked, and you can't hear demolition noise inside the movie theater.

There is good news to report on the business front though; Sports Basement, a Bay Area sporting goods store, is very close to reaching a deal to open a location at 730 I Street, about a block from the new arena.

The deal is awaiting city and county approval because the building is currently owned by the County of Sacramento.

The arena is scheduled to open in October 2016.

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