Jay Natale had a good year in 1979.
The Steelers won the Super Bowl. The Pirates won the World Series. And Natale opened a sporting goods store in the new Century III Mall in West Mifflin.
“The first year was unbelievable,” Natale, 70, of Elizabeth said, recalling a mobbed grand opening at the mall. “We hit the jackpot on that one.”
The jackpot lasted for nearly 20 years.
Since then, the mall has spiraled downward, losing customers, retailers and property value, which drained hundreds of thousands of dollars in property taxes from West Mifflin and its school district.