Crews get the green light to start demolishing parking deck at site of former Century III Mall

The signs are up and the permit has been issued for Phase One of demolition work at the site of the former Century III Mall, but that only includes taking down the parking deck.

As of March 26, contractors hired by the owners of the Century III Mall officially have the green light to start demolishing the part of the property where some shoppers used to park. But borough officials said it still could be some time before the actual mall building comes down, since another survey and separate permit will be required.

“There are still unknowns. If there is no asbestos, it can begin sooner. If there is asbestos, that has to be dealt with first. It could be weeks to months before we even have the resolution on getting that permit,” said Brian Kamauf, borough manager of West Mifflin. “We all know, at this point, it needs to be torn down.”

Earlier this month, a judge gave the property owners 30 days to come up with a demolition plan. Since then, seven people have been arrested after police say they broke into the mall. Borough officials said it has become a magnet for trespassers.

“We would hope that people, like we’ve said in the past, please just stay away from that area,” Kamauf said.

It’s the latest chapter of an ongoing battle between the property owners and the borough, and Kamauf said this demolition phase will likely be a long process.

“We have the condemnation still going on, there’s criminal charges against the da’s office. We do have the demo process going on now, so there’s a lot going on with it,” Kamauf said.

Borough officials said the demolition permit for Phase One does not have an expiration date, as long as work continues. If there is a stoppage, however, the company would have to reapply for the permit.

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