Here’s What They Want to Do with Lansing’s Old Sears Building
What's now a large abandoned building and acreage on the Lansing/East Lansing line could ultimately become the site of bustling activity once again.
A local developer has unveiled plans to completely reinvigorate the area around the former Sears building off E. Michigan Avenue in Lansing.
Gillespie Group is calling the planned development "Roeco", a tip of the hat to the full name of the existing building's longtime occupant, Sears, Roebuck & Co. According to its website, the developer plans to turn the old Sears site at 3131 E. Michigan Avenue into a 14-acre "regional mixed-use entertainment destination".
But what exactly does that mean? Here's what Gillespie Group President Pat Gillespie told FOX47 News:
"Everyone's telling us they want entertainment, they want more restaurant options, they want more bar options and they want some higher-end retail. So, we're taking this to the marketplace."
It's estimated the development could bring 15 to 20 new retailers, restaurants and other entertainment-focused businesses to the Frandor area. If everything goes according to plan, construction on the planned complex could begin by early 2024.
Sears had anchored the area from late 1954 until its closure in 2020. Part of the building serves as a COVID-testing site through Sparrow Health System.
A Reddit thread about the Gillespie Group's Roeco proposal largely panned the plans, but community leaders insist that if seen to fruition, the development will be a boon to both Lansing and East Lansing.