Santa Monica Sears could become big mixed use project

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Downtown Santa Monica’s historic Sears store could soon be repurposed into a mixed use creative office and retail space. According to the Santa Monic Daily Press, the store will shut down in April as its owners prepare for a major adaptive reuse project.

The 1947 building is owned by Seritage Growth Properties, an independent real estate investment trust created by Sears in 2015 to manage much of the floundering company’s significant real estate holdings. Now, Seritage is terminating the Santa Monica store’s lease.

Representatives of the company tell the Daily Press that the Expo Line-adjacent property will become a “first-class, mixed-use commercial development that will add value to the local community while honoring the original building’s legacy by retaining its historic character.”

As the LA Conservancy notes, the striking building is a prime example of Late Moderne style, with “patterns of horizontal and vertical striations in its reinforced concrete façades, with horizontal window bands at its top and curving, cantilevered canopies shading its entrances.”

The city of Santa Monica named the building a historic landmark in 2004, and Seritage has reportedly already met with the Landmarks Commission to discuss future plans for the site.

The store is far from the only Sears location in the LA area being primed for redevelopment. Plans have been in the works for years to turn the towering Boyle Heights Sears building into a mixed-use residential community. Meanwhile, the boxy Hollywood Sears, closed since 2008, was purchased in 2015 by CIM Group. The developer is planning a mix of apartments and retail for the site.

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