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Dead Mall of the Month: Century III

Wingnut

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For July's entry I've decided to stay in the Keystone state. Century III Mall is in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin. It was built on a former slag pile and opened its doors in 1979 and it was an immediate success. But the good times didn't really carry over into this century. By 2010 the mall was in a downward spiral of declining sales and stores. Other malls like South Hills Village or brand new outdoor shopping centers like the Waterfront were siphoning away shoppers. After several years of diminishing returns, Simon Property Group turned in the keys on this property just like they did with Granite Run. It was ultimately sold to Moonbeam Investments which has bought several distressed retail for rock bottom prices in recent years with intentions of fixing them up. It is believed Moonbeam plans to partially demall this building but no concrete details have been released as far as I can tell.

 

Anyway I had the pleasure of visiting Century III during my trip to Pittsburgh in 2013. I already read a thorough write up on the mall at Labelscar's website seen here http://www.labelscar.com/pennsylvania/century-iii-mall and it also has an entry at Dead Malls http://www.deadmalls.com/malls/century_iii_mall.html Century III was indeed a dead mall and delightfully so. The thing I enjoyed the most about the place was the unorthodox angles the various wings of the mall went off in. Also the mall is split level in some locations and it's all connected by a cool series of ramps and stairways. But one thing they didn't have yet was the carousel. Yup, if you've got nothing else to draw people to your mall, put amusement rides in there. :P

 

Century III has gotten extensive coverage on Youtube and here are two of my favorite videos. The first is another Dan Bell entry:

 

 

And this is from another Youtuber who is closely following in Dan's footsteps with a number of mall videos of his own:

 

 

I almost forgot about that enormous but empty parking garage. It almost gave me the creeps as I walked past it. I don't think the food court was that abandoned either. In closing, Century III is one mall I'd love to visit again but chances it will close before I get the opportunity to do so. :/

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The truth is: there are too many malls. In my homestate of NY there are like 5 within driving distance of each other, only one of which is successful, the others are dying out because as that one mall grows, their business potential dies.

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That's true.  In many instances, towns and cities that could realistically support one mall ended up getting three or four built.  Typically one thrives while the rest fade away.  Honestly, we have too much real estate devoted to retail in this country anyway and a contraction was overdue even before things like Amazon started chipping away at business. 

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