'Bittersweet' tear down of Carousel Mall begins in San Bernardino; city plans major redevelopment

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Monday, April 24, 2023
'Bitter-sweet' tear down of Carousel Mall begins in San Bernardino
San Bernardino has started the demolition of the Carousel Mall to make way for a major redevelopment project for the city's downtown.

SAN BERNARDINO (KABC) -- Crews began demolishing the more than 50-year-old Carousel Mall in downtown San Bernardino Monday morning, as long-time residents of the city say a bittersweet farewell to the place that provided so many memories.

The demolition, expected to take several weeks, will make way for a new redevelopment project that will include new affordable housing units, along with commercial and office buildings.

Locals looked back on all the holiday shopping, date nights and other experiences that took place at the mall that closed its doors in 2017.

"It is bittersweet. I have a lot of memories. I grew up in San Bernardino, Fulton. My mom worked here, she worked at Woolworth when it was a store here. My sister worked here, she worked at Hatches, which is fitting because when the Berlin Wall fell own in 1989, they sold pieces of the Berlin Wall at Hatches and now we have a piece of the Carousel Mall. It's kind of like history just repeats itself," said Agustin Ramirez of San Bernardino.

The abandoned mall that sits on city property became a safety hazard, as homeless took residence in the building. And a few fires were started as well.

City officials now promise that what comes next on the property will be better than what was there before. They have hired a developer to help finalize a plan for what to do with the 43 acres.

"We are achieving another huge milestone in the redevelopment of this 43 acre site that will help revitalize downtown San Bernardino," said Helen Tran, the mayor of San Bernardino.

The demolition will cost the city about $8 million. City officials hope to have the new project completed within five to seven years.