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New owner wants to slim down Century III Mall - and turn it inside out

New owner wants to slim down Century III Mall - and turn it inside out

By Tim Schooley

Pittsburgh Business Times

May 27, 2015

One of the region’s largest shopping centers could soon face a partial “de-malling,” a process in which an enclosed mall’s interior is typically turned inside out so the stores face the exterior.

Las Vegas-based Moonbeam Capital Investments is considering a partial de-malling among a range of proposals and strategies for Century III Mall, the region’s fourth-largest shopping center and located in West Mifflin.

The company includes a site plan of its proposals for the 1.3 million square foot complex on its website. They include renovating a number of the retail spaces to face toward the street along with plans to redevelop an empty anchor store location at Century III into a mix of uses that include apartments, medical office or assisted living as well as retail.

Shawl Pryor, a senior vice president for Moonbeam who oversees Century III for the company, said the plans are still preliminary. He said Moonbeam continues to work closely with West Mifflin, the municipality in which the mall is located, as well as Allegheny County over the company’s turnaround plans for Century III, which he said is expected to be a phased strategy.

But he expects to see a shrinking of the overall complex at Century III as Moonbeam negotiates with a possible cineplex and other retailers in its efforts to rejuvenate the long-struggling shopping center.

“We have a number of different scenarios that we have proposed to both groups as far as what Century III Mall looks like in the next few years,” he said. “We know that (1.3 million) square feet is very large for any mall today. We know it’s going to require some de-malling of the existing shopping center.”

He projected Moonbeam’s redevelopment of Century III would get underway some time in 2016 or 2018.

Pryor said Moonbeam presented its redevelopment proposals for Century III Mall recently at RECon, the annual Spring convention of the International Council of Shopping Centers and that it was “well-received” by retailers.

The potential downsizing of Century III’s retail square footage follows the downscaling of mall anchors. Pryor said the many mall anchor stores are scaling down the size of there stores as well as cutting back, requiring landlords to take different approaches to replace them.

Moonbeam has spoken with a host of big box retailers whose stores range in size from 25,000 square feet to 100,000 square feet as the firm works to fill voids left by closed stores such as Sears and others.

Pryor was upbeat about the company’s progress with Century III, which it bought out of receivership in 2013 and expects to hold long-term.

“We’re excited about taking on the challenge of this project. And we’re extremely happy with the progress that we’ve made thus far,” he said. “This is a project that we feel comfortable that it will be part of our portfolio of redeveloped properties.”

 

 

Schooley, T. (May 27, 2015). New owner wants to slim down Century III Mall - and turn it inside out. Pittsburgh Business Times (June 2, 2015). http://www.bizjournals.com/pittsburgh/blog/the-next-move/2015/05/new-owner-wants-to-slim-down-century-iii-mall.html?surround=etf&ana=e_article&u=oSKD4/SyW42OjqV1pBozogFb5hR