Century III Mall

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Century III Mall
Century III Mall 2018A.jpg
Location3075 Clairton Rd. (PA 51)
West Mifflin, Pennsylvania 15123
Coordinates40°20′17″N 79°56′38″W / 40.338°N 79.944°W / 40.338; -79.944Coordinates: 40°20′17″N 79°56′38″W / 40.338°N 79.944°W / 40.338; -79.944
Opening date1979
DeveloperEdward J. DeBartolo Corporation
ManagementMoonbeam Capital Investments LLC
OwnerMoonbeam Capital Investments LLC
No. of stores and services7 (Over 200 at peak)
No. of anchor tenants5 (2 open, 3 vacant)
Total retail floor area1,290,000 square feet (120,000 m2)
No. of floors3
Public transit accessBus transport Port Authority bus: 59, Y1, Y46
WebsiteCentury III Mall

Century III Mall is an ailing enclosed shopping mall located in the southern Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania. It is the fourth largest shopping mall in the Greater Pittsburgh area and was the third-largest enclosed shopping center in the world when it was built in 1979. In 1997, the mall received an $8 million face-lift. The three-level mall contains 1,290,000 square feet (120,000 m2) of retail space and a total of 7 stores as of November 2018, with all but one non-anchor store being "independent" and not part of a chain, Life Uniform being the only remaining chain store. Anchor retailers at Century III Mall include Dick's Sporting Goods and JCPenney. Former anchors included Macy’s which closed in 2016, Sears which closed in 2014, and Macy’s Furniture Gallery . From 1996-2011, it was owned and operated by Simon Property Group, and prior, the Edward J. DeBartolo Corporation, who built the mall. It is currently owned and operated by Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments LLC.

History[edit]

Entry E is one of the last remaining entrances still open as of November 29, 2018
  • Gimbels – later split between Marshall's (upper level) and T.J.Maxx (lower level), later becoming T.J.Maxx 'n More and Wickes Furniture (upper level), later Steve & Barry's (lower level, closed in 2009) and Dick's Sporting Goods (upper level)
  • Kaufmann's – later Macy's, closed in 2016
  • Montgomery Ward – opened 1980, later Horne's, later Lazarus, later Kaufmann's Furniture, later Macy's Furniture, closed in 2009
  • Sears – opened 1980, closed 2014
  • JCPenney – opened 1979

The empty anchor location that used to house Macy's Furniture has a very full history. In 1979, it was built as a new location for the Chicago-based Montgomery Ward chain, which was attempting to expand its presence in the Pittsburgh area. This Wards location only lasted a few years however, and ultimately the entire Wards chain went bankrupt and was liquidated. In 1986, the location then became a unit of The Joseph Horne Company (owned by the New York City based Associated Dry Goods Corporation) which then closed its nearby Brentwood store. In 1994, the location changed names again when the Cincinnati-based Federated Department Stores purchased Horne's and converted the chain's locations into its own Lazarus regional nameplate. In 1998, after operating a few years as Lazarus, Federated closed several locations including the Century III store. The location then became a unit of Kaufmann's (which was the largest of the three Pittsburgh-based department store chains), who then opened a Furniture Gallery in that location. Kaufmann's was a division of the St. Louis-based May Department Stores Company.

On July 18, 2005, Federated Department Stores purchased the May Department Stores Company. That purchase brought Kaufmann's under Federated ownership. On September 9, 2006, Federated converted all former May Company regional department store nameplates, including Kaufmann's, into Macy's as part of a nationwide re-branding program. That caused the Kaufmann's Furniture Gallery location to be returned once again to Federated Department Stores ownership and renamed Macy's Furniture Gallery. Macy's Furniture only occupied the lower level. In January 2009, Macy's Furniture closed its Century III location as a cost-cutting measure. Just prior to the closing, the fountain near the food court was drained and filled with mulch. In 2010, a large pseudo wall was constructed in front of this wing, making it inaccessible to the general public. The Macy's Furniture building still remains vacant to this day.

Macy's departure resulted in a mass exodus of retailers to leave the moribund mall. Its occupancy rate fell from 40 percent in January 2016 to 10 percent by December 2017. The once-sprawling food court, previously home to over 20 eateries, is now abandoned after the last remaining food court tenant, Italian Village Pizza, closed on July 1, 2017.[1] The fast-fading mall would continue to see more departures in 2018. Old Mexico, the last restaurant in the mall, closed in April 2018, leaving the mall with no food tenant. In addition, the double-decker carousel was shut down and dismantled around the same time to be sent to an undisclosed location in Austin, Texas.

As of April 2018, the lower level wall sealing off this wing was torn down, and people are now setting up the Macy's Furniture building to be filmed in a Netflix original series called “Mindhunter”. Filming has since been completed.

As of September 2018, 11 stores remain, including anchors JCPenney and Dick's Sporting Goods. All of the mall's escalators have been shut off and most staircases were permanently barricaded as much of the upper level and the entire food court were roped off.

On June 1, 2018, a walk-through was held for former mall workers and patrons who wanted to tour the mall one last time. Over 200 people participated in the event.

On September 4, 2018, a sheriff’s sale of the mall was postponed after Moonbeam Capital Investments filed for bankruptcy for the mall at the last minute.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Say goodbye to the food court at Century III". upgruv.com. 23 May 2017.
  2. ^ Czbiniak, Madasyn (4 September 2018). "Century III Mall sheriff's sale postponed yet again". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 23 October 2018.

External links[edit]