ROCKFORD — A shuttered east side grocery store has a date with the wrecking ball.


Demolition work is slated to begin Thursday on the former Magna store, 3915 E. State St., city officials said.


The building, which sits in the heart of the city’s Miracle Mile District, has been vacant for more than two decades.


The city recently took ownership of the building and negotiated a $120,000 payment from the former owner, Highland Park CVS LLC, to cover the demolition costs.


Demolition of the former grocery store is part of the city’s larger strategy to remove blight and strengthen neighborhoods, while saving taxpayers money, according to a news release issued by the city.


The 79,700-square-foot building sits on a 7-acre site that the city hopes will be redeveloped.


On Monday, the city demolished the condemned strip mall directly west of the former Magna store.


The city will pursue reimbursement for the cost of the demolition from the owners of the property.


In 2019, the city successfully sued the owners of the former Essex Wire plant on North Main Street for the demolition of the dilapidated property at the owner’s expense.


Also last year, the city demolished a former nursing home on North Main Street that was gutted by fire and negotiated payment from the nursing home owners to cover most of the demolition costs.


Ken DeCoster: kdecoster@rrstar.com; @DeCosterKen