Struggling Pennsylvania Century III Mall called "uninhabitable"

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West Mifflin, PA (KDKA / CBS Newspath) -- It’s a huge shopping mall with some huge problems.

When and if repairs are made, Century III Mall is expected to reopen to the public. How long it will remain open is anybody’s guess. Courtesy: KDKA / CBS Newspath

The silence is deafening at Century III Mall.

After opening its doors four decades ago, this mall was once touted as one of the premier places in the West Mifflin area.

Larry Beck, who lives in West Brownsville, in Fayette County, loved it when the mall opened.

“This used to be the mall to come to,” Beck said. “It was fabulous. There was every store you could imagine. I was in here a few months ago, there’s nothing but space, absolutely nothing in there anymore.”

There was a time when you could count nearly 200 Century III stores. These days, the store count is down to about a dozen.

And, the latest setback, the West Mifflin Code Enforcement Office has now posted notices on entrances saying the mall interior is unsafe and uninhabitable and the building must be repaired, vacated or demolished.

Anchor stores Dick’s Sporting Goods and JCPenney are open because they have separate sprinkler systems.

When and if repairs are made, the mall is expected to reopen to the public. How long it will remain open is anybody’s guess.

“I have to wonder what they are going to do with it,” said Beck. “It is a massive property, a huge building.”

The notices were posted because the sprinkler system in the mall interior has recently failed. Las Vegas based Moonbeam Capital, the mall’s owner, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection a few months ago because its creditor’s bills were piling up. Several sheriff’s sales have been put off in the past year.

West Mifflin Mayor Chris Kelly said he’s fed up with the mall owners.

“The whole corporation is bogus,” Kelly told KDKA News. “They are taking advantage of our tax laws. We’ve tried to help them, try to make it reasonable for them, but they do nothing but lie.”

Describing Moonbeam Investments, Kelly said “they are the absolute worst tenant you can image. I just hope they leave. Get your hat, coat and leave.”

KDKA News reached out to Moonbeam on Wednesday afternoon but did not get a response.