After several months of debate, San Bernardino has decided to demolish Carousel Mall.
The city council Wednesday voted 6-1 to level the abandoned downtown shopping mall next to Interstate 215 and begin to look for a demolition company, according to Councilman Juan Figueroa.
Councilman Ben Reynoso cast the dissenting vote.
The council is expected to take up the issue again in October, at which point a demolition contract could be awarded and a timeline established.
Demolition of the mall, which has been abandoned since it closed in 2017, could take six to nine months, said Figueroa, who represents the third ward in the south part of the city.
Leveling the facility has always been and option, but cries to demolish it – lead by Mayor John Valdivia – grew after a three-alarm fire in May.
That plan was originally rejected, but on Wednesday the council changed its mind.
“There have been something like 30 fires there,” Figueroa said of the former shopping mall, which opened as Central City Mall in 1972. “Every time there’s a fire there it pulls the fire department from another fire, maybe someone’s house.”
The city plans to recover the demotion cost by selling the 43-acre site where the former mall is located, Figueroa said.