Wednesday, July 1, 2020

UPDATE. What does Seritage have planned for the remaining portion of Sears at West Towne Mall?

Photos by Retiring Guy

3/24/2020 update, "Activity taking place at space formerly occupied by Sears at West Towne Mall ", starts here.

7/9/2019 update starts here

Photos by Retiring Guy

But the lights are on.

5/1/2019 update, "Space formerly occupied by Sears at West Towne Mall gets covered up", starts here.

Photo by Retiring Guy

Some Outdated Wisconsin Malls See Success In Redevelopment While Others Struggle. Rural Communities Having A Tougher Time Bringing Life Back To Shopping Centers.  (Wisconsin Public Radio, 4/3/2019)

Mentioned in the article:
  • Brookfield Square  (By the end of the year, Brookfield Square will open a Marcus Theater movie tavern and the state's first WhirlyBall game venue.)
  • The Avenue, Milwaukee (...a plan is underway to invest $9 million in city financing to continue mixed-use redevelopment of its long-struggling mall...)
  • Wausau Center Mall (In 2016, CBL turned the Wausau Center Mall back over to its lender after the struggling shopping center lost two of its three anchor stores.)
  • Memorial Mall, Sheboygan (Memorial Mall in Sheboygan was once the city's shopping hub. But in 2017, the mall was partially demolished and replaced with a Meijer grocery store.)
  • Regency Mall, Racine  (CBL sold the long-struggling Regency Mall in Racine in 2016 to Augusta, Georgia-based Hull Property Group. The company specializes in troubled properties. The city and Hull Property Group have been working on redevelopment plans for the nearly-vacant mall.) 
West Towne Mall continues to hold its own, although with what is now most certainly a record level of unleased space, thanks to the demise of Boston Store and Sears.

10/2/2018 update, "West Towne Mall Sears goes dark, gets emptied out", starts here.

Stripped of 'sears'
Photos by Retiring Guy

"There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear."



7/31/2018 update, "Sears ends a 48-year run at West Towne Mall in Madison WI", starts here.

TOP STORY. Sears to close West Towne Mall store and automotive center.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 6/30/2018)
The closing of the Sears leaves the J.C. Penney store on the north side of the mall as the only remaining original anchor tenant.

West Towne opened in October of 1970 at the corner of Gammon Road and Mineral Point Road when there was little else that far west in the city.

 Memorial High School, Jefferson Middle School and what would become the headquarters for Famous Footwear had been built, but the mall brought shopping indoors with nearly 60 stores. Other anchors at the opening were Manchester’s and H.C. Prange Co., both department stores.

4/5/2018 update, "Sears is open for business and now hiring", starts here.

Sears keeps insisting that it's open for business.

All photos by Retiring Guy

Unfortunately, people don't seem to care.

Not even employees at the Checkout & Member Services counter.

Maybe that's the reason for the "Now Hiring" signs at the indoor mall entrance.

Just to the left of the above photo is an empty space formerly occupied by Learning Express.  Pity the mall sales staff making a pitch.  "Just think!  You'll be right next to Sears!"  

Not exactly a dealmaker.

Reported in Will Sears live to see Holiday 2018?  (Retail TouchPoints, 1/12/2018)

11/27/2017 update, "A pleading Sears store at West Towne Mall in Madison WI takes a page from Scott Walker:  WE'RE OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!: starts here.

Sears, Cutting Costs and Closing Stores, Fights to Survive.  (The New York Times, 11/24/2017)
Even as Sears is closing stores, the company is opening some new ones and renovating others to make them smaller and more attractive. The company has a deal with Uber in which drivers receive significant discounts at Sears.

SEARS IS OPEN?  It appears that no one cares.  (The photo makes the renovation better than it looks in person, which is more along the lines of Big Lots basic.)

And don't forget the Sears Auto Center, which already seems to be the case.

All photos by Retiring Guy

10/6/2017 update, "Madison folks will no longer have to drive to Wauwatosa to get their Dave & Buster's fix", starts here.

Dave & Buster's with 100 locations, opening in Madison this spring.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 9/13/2017)
The Sears store at West Towne Mall is being downsized to make way for the restaurant and entertainment center Dave & Buster's. 
It will be the Dallas, Texas-based company's second Wisconsin location. The first opened in Wauwatosa in March 2010. 
The Madison Dave & Buster's, 414 West Towne Mall, will be 31,000 square feet and is scheduled to open next spring, said company spokeswoman Alex Purdy.

9/7/2017 update, "A closer look at Sears West Towne in Madison", starts here.

The east side of the Sears store is located at the least welcoming entrance to West Towne Mall.

All photos by Retiring Guy

Just in case you're wondering what the blue sign above the entrance says.

Sears West Towne is hiring, if you're interested in a job not likely to be long-term.

Pretty much a stripped-down warehouse look right now.

An illustration of what this shirt would look like with a bad case of dandruff.

Sears.  Desperately seeking customers.

Original 9/6/2017 post, "What's going on at Sears West Towne in Madison?". starts here.

Photos by Retiring Guy

I guess this work is finally getting underway.

Plans show downsized Sears at West Towne Mall, Dave & Buster's moving in.  (Capital Times, 7/23/2017)
The West Towne location would take up about 31,000 square feet of the existing Sears store. A separate new retail space would be around 24,000 square feet.  
Seritage purchased the 18-acre Sears property from Sears Roebuck and Co. for $7.2 million last year, according to city records, and gained the right to recapture up to 50 percent of the existing store and the auto center for alternate uses.

Nothing on this topic from the West Towne newsroom.

Related reading:
Sears has 'substantial doubt' that it can survive.  (CNN, 3/23/2017)

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