Century III mall was shut down Wednesday by West Mifflin. The borough deemed it unsafe and uninhabitable because the mall’s sprinkler system is shut down due to a pipe break.
The notice, which is signed by West Mifflin Community Development Director Walter B. Anthony, says the building must be repaired, vacated or demolished.
“The damage looks rather minor, but they had a hard time shutting off that sprinkler area,” Anthony said. “They had to shut the main valve off.”
Century III mall management did not answer calls from WESA, but Anthony said they were notified of the situation.
“We have the authority to use judgement in cases like this,” Anthony said, noting that the building just needs repairs. “The building is not structurally unsound.”
New Dimension Comics owner Todd McDevitt said his Century III location was damaged when the pipe broke. He said he was informed that there was a “large amount” of damage, but was unsure of how much.
“We’ve had many, many false alarms there. This might be one of those false alarms, or this might be that [last] straw,” McDevitt said.
The mall was once one of Pittsburgh’s premier shopping destinations but lost most of its tenants in recent years. Only 14 stores remain listed on the mall's website.
Century III, which was valued by the county at $11.5 million in 2018, has dodged multiple sheriff’s sales in the past year.
In December, McDevitt told WESA that he will move his store somewhere else if the mall closed down.
“It’s sad and unfortunate what’s going on with that mall,” McDevitt said at the time. “I’m the only shining light they have, it seems.”
*This story was updated at 10:07 a.m. on Feb. 7 to include more information.