San Bernardino to again consider demolishing Carousel Mall – San Bernardino Sun

A plan to demolish the Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino could move forward Wednesday, July 20, six weeks after most city leaders squashed such a proposal.

If approved this go-around, a contract could be awarded to a qualified firm in October.

City officials believe leveling the shuttered shopping center “is a viable solution to prevent safety and health concerns, eliminate the need to allocate valuable city resources, and reduce/eliminate the costs of maintaining a vacant building,” according to a staff report prepared for the City Council.

The Carousel Mall has been a haven for intruding transients since closing five years ago, but recent emergencies there have precipitated calls from City Hall for its demolition.

In the wake of a three-alarm fire in May, Mayor John Valdivia called the mall “a health and safety hazard for the community,” and implored elected officials to expedite the demolition process to prevent future incidents.

Councilman Juan Figueroa agreed.

Those two were the only city leaders to support a proposal last month to raze the place in short order.

Independent of its vote on the demolition plan, the City Council on Wednesday will decide whether to execute a $40,000-per-month pact with Redwood Private Security for around-the-clock patrol of the property.

The pitch comes a week after a 60-year-old Rialto woman was shot to death in the parking lot.

San Bernardino has spent thousands of dollars in materials and overtime on securing the building after breaches, city staffers wrote in their report, adding that facilities employees spend approximately 25% of their time addressing issues associated with vandalism and breaches there.

“The time spent at the Mall,” staffers wrote, “takes away valuable resources from the City to address maintenance and repair needs through occupied buildings in the City.”

Neighboring landowners also have raised concerns about the mall’s condition.

“While the condition of downtown is the collective responsibility of all local landowners,” city staffers wrote, “addressing the conditions at the Carousel Mall will help mitigate the concerns of neighboring owners.”

Demolishing the Carousel Mall is part of a Disposition and Development Agreement, or DDA, being negotiated between the city and the team tasked with redeveloping the 43-acre site.

It is unclear when that pact will be finalized.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. Wednesday, at Feldheym Library, 555 W. Sixth St.

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