Two years after Lansing-Sears closed its East Michigan Avenue store near the Flandre It has started pitching the site to ‘restaurants,’ said president Pat Gillespie. Gillespie Group.
According to a news release, the Lansing-based developer wants to redevelop the approximately 200,000-square-foot building as ROECO, a “regional multi-purpose entertainment destination.”
CBRE is actively marketing the property, Gillespie said.
The move comes more than a year after the company hired Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Streetsense to survey the region’s demographics and complete a market analysis of what might thrive there. .
The Gillespie Group purchased this property at 3131 E. Michigan Ave. 13 years ago.
Sparrow Health System opened a coronavirus testing site in May 2020 in a portion of the building that is still operational. The hospital rents space from The Gillespie Group.
The 14-acre lot is mostly vacant land, but Gillespie says it has a lot of potential.
Residents of the area say they want to see “delicious dining options” and retail outlets, and experts agree the community will support both.
“I heard you’ve put together a plan to bring it to these retailers and restaurants…and if I bring this, do you think they’ll find it anywhere?” Gillespie said. “If they say yes, we can be a part of it. We’re pursuing some of the national prospects that big cities have when it comes to entertainment.”
Concept calls for restaurants and retailers
Sears has occupied the space for more than 60 years, having moved from its downtown Lansing location in the fall of 1954. It was a Greater Lansing facility for 66 years until it closed in 2020. Last summer, Gillespie said the property’s redevelopment would cost between $60 million and $190 million.
A conceptual drawing of what the ROECO should look like shows the redeveloped building housing a restaurant with a rooftop restaurant and retail outlets.
Renderings have been shared with domestic companies, and the Gillespie Group is pitching the property, said Megan Weber, the company’s real estate coordinator.
“Our goal is to keep the existing building. Nothing has been decided that this will happen on any particular timeline.”
If the company can secure a tenant, the concept plan calls for demolishing approximately 15,000 square feet of the existing building, primarily from the East Michigan Avenue side, and adding square feet to the existing structure as well.
“We look forward to seeing some commitments in the next six months,” he said.
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The timeline and appearance of the building’s redevelopment may change depending on its residents, said Ashley Brzezinski, marketing director for the Gillespie Group.
The hopes Gillespie’s company has for the former Sears building aren’t far-fetched, he said.
“People want to be entertained and they want unique places to do that,” says Gillespie.
Signs on the building touting its availability since last year have drawn initial interest, and the next step will be the pursuit of domestic companies, he said.
“There was a lot of preliminary interest before we hit the market,” said Gillespie. “The goal is to create a great marketing his package, put together the right plans with professionals in great locations, and get them engaged.”
Please contact Rachel Greco at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GrecoatLSJ .