The once-vibrant Century III Mall is now boarded up, with the exception of JCPenney, the only store now open on the 90-acre property.
West Mifflin officials had closed the mall in February, deeming the property “unsafe and uninhabitable” due to a broken water and fire suppression system. Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC, which owns the property, still plans to redevelop the former mall site.
“Right now we’re currently putting together some redevelopment plans and we look to move forward with potentially redeveloping the site,” said Shawl Pryor, chief operating officer for Moonbeam Capital Investments.
He said the property was boarded up due to windows that had recently broken. Pryor declined to comment further on the redevelopment plans.
Century III Mall PA LLC, an affiliate of Moonbeam Capital, filed for bankruptcy in September. According to WPXI, a judge granted a 60-day extension for the completion of a redevelopment plan, after attorneys representing the company made the request in April.
Tenants of the mall received letters instructing them to vacate their spaces earlier this year. Dick’s Sporting Goods, which remained open after the February notice, closed for good at the end of March.
JCPenney corporate headquarters did not return a message requesting comment on its Century III Mall location.
“They have a lease with that building, what that entitles them to, I can’t speak of,” West Mifflin Borough Manager Bryan Kamauf said regarding JCPenney.
According to Allegheny County real estate data, the mall site consists of two land parcels, both owned by Century III Mall PA LLC.
The assessed value of the land has declined significantly since 2006, Kamauf noted. That year, the assessed value of the parcel containing the mall declined to $71 million, from $112 million the year before, county data showed. Its assessed value is now $11.5 million. An adjacent parcel that once contained a Sears store is valued at $9.9 million.
“It’s been that way for several years … so we’ve already been through the period of the big financial burden. That being said, we don’t like the additional jobs that have been lost by the complete closure of it,” Kamauf said.
West Mifflin Borough has adjusted to the decline in revenue, and the closure will not mean a loss of services for residents. Officials would like to see the area develop again, Kamauf added, but the future of the mall property is up to the owner.
“We would like that to actually be a functional piece of property and have something developed there, not only financially but for the residents, for people to come into the community … but again, we prepared because I think people have seen the writing on the wall,” he said.