SAN BERNARDINO ( — Carousel Mall, one of the Inland Empire’s oldest and biggest shopping malls, has closed its doors permanently.

The 43-acre mall in downtown San Bernardino has, for the past several years, been hanging by a thread. It opened in 1972 as Central City Mall, and in its heyday, thrived with as many as 52 stores and three major department stores.

The mall was renamed Carousel Mall in 1991.

Trouble for the mall became evident when Montgomery Ward, one of its anchors, went out of business in 2001 after losing The Harris Company during the 90s. Its last anchor, JC Penney, closed at the mall in 2003.

Since then, Yelp reviews noted the mall more for its abundance of closed stores and post-apocalyptic feel than its shopping options and carousel.

Carousel Mall evicted the remaining 14 tenants this year and closed its doors permanently Friday.

The city of San Bernardino says it plans to demolish the mall and build new restaurants, shops and housing on the property.

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