PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The current owners of the Century III mall say it’s not a dead facility, but that it’s a facility on its way back.

But first, it’s going to take a step back on Friday when Sears begins the process of shutting down.

A walk through the once vibrant mall is almost sad and eye-opening.

“It’s a shame,” said Patty Colwell of Mt. Washington. “It’s a beautiful area and more and more companies are moving out. It’s a shame.”

Those who depend on the mall for their primary shopping hope something will stem the exodus.

“This is convenient for us,” said Frank Colwell. “And I don’t like to shop anywhere else, I’m a one-shop person.”

Burt if Century III is going to enjoy a renewal, it’s going to be without Sears. The only store Sears is closing in the immediate Pittsburgh area.

“It was a little surprising,” said West Mifflin Borough Manager Brian Kamauf. “It’s my understanding that they were always a good-performing facility.”

A Sears spokesperson did send a statement, saying, “Store closures are part of a series of actions we’re taking to reduce on-going expenses, adjust our asset base, and accelerate the transformation of our business model.”

The 88 employees at the Century III Sears will be offered severance or jobs at other Sears or Kmarts.
Meanwhile, the mall deals with losing an anchor.

And it’s moving ahead with its plans to demolish the old Macy’s furniture store and replace it with a multiplex theater.

Moonbeam Capital, which owns the mall, wants the theater in operation next summer, followed by a rush of new retail.

“We hope so,” Kamauf said. “It seems they have a play they came in with and we want the mall to succeed and it’s always good to have good business in West Mifflin. And we’d like to see it get back to where it was in its heyday.”

But first, Sears will vacate its space.

The liquidation sale will start on Friday and the actual closing of the store will take place in December, sometime before Christmas.

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