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First phase of demolition set to begin at Century III Mall

First phase of Century III Mall demolition to begin
First phase of Century III Mall demolition to begin 01:33

WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (KDKA) — It's demolition day at the Century III Mall in West Mifflin, with the first phase of demolition set to get underway Tuesday.

The once-proud mall now sits empty with boarded-up windows and graffiti, and with nature slowly reclaiming it.

One of the entrances to the former Century III Mall is now boarded up and covered up with graffiti.  KDKA

Court battles between Moonbeam — who owns the mall — and West Mifflin Borough forced a judge to order the two sides to work in good faith and get the building torn down.

That ruling came following several incidents where people were trespassing inside the building, with the newest happening just a couple of weeks ago when seven people were arrested.

In the wake of the judge's decision earlier this month, Neiswonger has been putting demolition equipment in place over the past couple of weeks.

Neiswonger Construction has moved demolition equipment to the site of the former Century III Mall in West Mifflin. KDKA

After doing an asbestos survey on the parking structure, it's believed that will be the first thing to come down. At last check, a complete asbestos survey for the mall has not yet been performed. That survey is required by the Allegheny County Health Department before any demolition of the main part of the mall can take place.

It's unclear when exactly the demolition is set to begin Tuesday.

Other incidents at the site of the former mall

In April of last year, the mall was the scene of a fire now under investigation as arson. Investigators said they found accelerant present on some of the debris collected at the scene. While fighting the fire at the nearly 1.3 million-square-foot building, one of the biggest concerns for first responders was whether anyone was inside the mall, a place known for squatters and drug activity. 

A YouTuber from Ohio and two other people he was with were charged with breaking into the mall in May. Police said he filmed the break-in, and a Clairton man who was also allegedly exploring the mall that day with an unidentified woman was charged 

And in June, a teenager fell through the roof of the mall while filming a TikTok and was hospitalized. The West Mifflin police chief said he's since been charged with trespassing. 

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