Why is Downtown San Bernardino's Carousel Mall fenced?

Why is Downtown San Bernardino's Carousel Mall fenced?
Fencing has been placed around Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino to keep vagrants and vandals off the site, as seen here Wednesday, April 11, 2023. (Photo by Brian Whitehead, The Sun/SCNG)

Demolition Underway

The Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino has been a fixture of the city for over 50 years, but soon it will be no more. Resource Environmental, a Cerrito firm, has been tasked with demolishing the once-thriving shopping center for $8 million, and preparations for the demolition are now underway.

One of the first steps in the demolition process has been the erection of an exterior fence around the 43-acre property. The fence is aimed at restricting access to the parking lot and the building itself, which has been closed for several years due to declining business. Resource Environmental has also brought in its own security to patrol the site, following the city's decision to end its contract with a security company responsible for keeping vagrants and vandals off the property.

It is not yet clear when the demolition will begin, but the firm has already brought in heavy equipment to start the razing process. City spokesman Jeff Kraus has confirmed that the necessary permits and approvals are being obtained, and the demolition is expected to begin in the near future.

To commemorate the start of the demolition, a ceremony has been scheduled for 10 a.m. on April 24th at the Carousel Mall. While there will be no massive implosion or wrecking ball, the ceremony will mark a significant milestone in the project, according to Kraus.

$8 million deal

The demolition of the Carousel Mall has been long-awaited by many residents, who view it as a blight on the city's downtown area. In December of last year, the City Council approved an $8 million deal with Resource Environmental to demolish the mall and clear the property for future development.

However, the planned demolition has not been without controversy. City officials have been accused of violating four state laws in planning the site's redevelopment, and a workshop for the City Council to discuss how to address the alleged violations ahead of the state's May 15 deadline is being planned.

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Lack of Transparency

While a top city official believes that only one of the laws was violated, Councilmember Kimberly Calvin expressed her disappointment with the lack of transparency and communication between city officials and policymakers in the redevelopment process.

The specific laws that have been allegedly violated have not been disclosed, but the allegations have raised concerns about the transparency and legality of the redevelopment process. It is not yet clear what actions will be taken to comply with state laws or how they will affect the demolition of the mall.

Despite the legal issues, the preparations for the demolition continue, and the long-awaited demolition of the once-bustling shopping center will soon become a reality. Resource Environmental plans to demolish everything above ground and crush all the material on-site to be used for soil stabilization and draining.

Revitalization

The redevelopment of the Carousel Mall site is seen as a crucial step in the city's downtown revitalization efforts. The mall has been a source of blight and crime for many years, and its demolition is expected to pave the way for new development that will attract investment and spur economic growth in the area.

While the legal challenges will need to be addressed, the demolition of the mall is a significant step forward for the city. The ceremony to mark the start of the demolition will be a momentous occasion for many residents, who have been waiting for years to see the end of the once-iconic shopping center.

While there will be no massive implosion or wrecking ball, the ceremony will mark a significant milestone in the project, according to city spokesman Jeff Kraus. He also confirmed that Resource Environmental is in the process of obtaining the necessary permits and approvals.

Committement

While the legal challenges must be addressed, the city and its officials remain committed to the redevelopment of the area. The Carousel Mall's demolition marks a new beginning for San Bernardino, as the city seeks to revive its downtown and create a vibrant and thriving community for its residents.

In conclusion, the impending demolition of the Carousel Mall in San Bernardino marks a significant step forward in the city's downtown revitalization efforts. However, the recent allegations of violating state laws in planning the site's redevelopment have raised concerns about the transparency and legality of the process. Despite the legal challenges, the city remains committed to the redevelopment of the area and the revitalization of its downtown. With the mall's demolition, San Bernardino hopes to create a vibrant and thriving community for its residents and attract new businesses and visitors to the city.


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This article originally appeared in What’s with the fence around Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino?

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