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Springbank's Adaptive Reuse Of Ravenswood Sears Store Moves Forward

A former Sears department store at 1900 West Lawrence Ave in Chicago

One of two vacant former Sears stores in Chicago will soon have a new lease on life as a mixed-use TOD. Springbank Real Estate Group acquired the former Sears store at 1900 West Lawrence Ave for $9.5M. SRS Real Estate Partners' Kevin Boyd brokered the deal between Springbank and the seller, Sears Holdings.

Springbank plans to invest $20M to redevelop the building into 40 apartments and 34k SF of retail with 110 parking spaces, and already is in talks with Binny's Beverage Depot to anchor the retail component with a 30k SF store. For all of that to happen, Springbank must apply for rezoning and, because the Binny's would be within 100 feet of an elementary school, seek neighborhood, school and state approval. If there are any objections, Springbank would have to find another tenant, according to Crain's.

Because of the building's proximity to the Metra Union Pacific North Line station, the development qualifies as a TOD. Springbank, which specializes in TODs, also plans to restore the building to its original Art Deco facade.

This and five other Sears stores in Chicago were included on Preservation Chicago's 2016 Chicago 7 list of endangered buildings. Sears commissioned seven stores to be built in the 1920s, when it was the world's largest retailer. Two have been demolished, two are vacant, one is home to Robert Morris College in the Loop, and two are still open including one in Six Corners, which continues to anchor that neighborhood's retail sector. [Crain's]