SANTA MONICA—The old, vacated Sears building in downtown Santa Monica is getting an upgrade and will be transformed into a new office and retail complex.
The building, which was constructed in 1947, was operated by Sears for 70 years before closing its doors in April 2017. It is just one of many Sears locations that have been closed do to poor sales and the company’s decline. The building itself was built in the art deco style, and is located in the middle of downtown Santa Monica.
The building and land were purchased by Seritage Growth Properties in 2015, when the company purchased 253 Sears and Kmart stores for around $2.7 billion, the Los Angeles Times reported. The company plans to rid the building of its old, outdated style in favor of a more modern approach. House & Robertson Architects, a major architectural design company, has already laid out plans for the new building. Developer Kacy Keys informed the LA Times, that the new building will feature several office spaces, as well as retail shops and it will incorporate a “silicon beach-type” style.
The roof will be open to tenants that rent out the top two floors and will be landscaped, furnished and provide a view of the ocean. The builders will use a previously unused attic space to make a third floor in the building, and each tenant is predicted to use up to 50,000 square feet of offices on each of these floors. The building will be filled with state-of-the-art amenities and technology, and will be retrofitted for earthquakes. An outdoor space in the back, which was once used for storing trucks, will potentially be converted into a beer garden.
“In summary, based on current research and the above assessment, the property located at 302 Colorado Avenue appears to meet many of the City of Santa Monica’s Landmark Criteria,” states a city Landmark Assessment report.
Countless retail chains like Sears, Macy’s and JC Penney have been closing stores, as a result of online competition from stores like Amazon. The building was considered for the Landmark Commission by the city of Santa Monica in 2004.