The Sears store at 1900 W. Lawrence Avenue in the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood area had been a neighborhood anchor for nearly 100 years until it was finally closed last summer. Having originally opened in November 1925, the store was the oldest and longest-standing store belonging to the once mighty retailer. However, Sears has officially sold the building and its new owner is looking to building some new apartments while reserving a sizable chunk of space for retail tenants.
According to Crain’s, developer Springbank Real Estate Group officially closed on the deal to purchase the 105,000-square-foot building on December 14, paying nearly $10 million for the property. The developer is seeking to gut and renovate the old structure and complete a new buildout that will bring 50 apartments and 33,000 square feet of ground level retail space—of which almost all of it would be leased to Binny’s Beverage Depot.
Last year, the building was included on Preservation Chicago’s list of most endangered buildings because of the uncertainty of Sears’ future. With years of declining sales and employee layoffs, it was only a matter of time until the Lincoln Square location was shuttered. According to a report last summer from DNAinfo, Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th) insisted that the building be repurposed and redeveloped instead of being demolished. A sketch rendering of the developer’s plan shows that the building will be outfitted with new windows and even an enclosed rooftop deck.