Recently Sparrow has been using the auto centre part of the old Sears complex near Frandor for drive thru Covid vaccine and testing. Now the current owner of the 14 acre property is planning to put it on the market for redevelopment. The Sears store location originally opened in 1954, last year Sears closed most of its stores across the U.S. The Gillespie group leases the property to Sears and the lease doesn’t expire until 2029. Sears has contracted the Gillespie Group to create redevelopment plans. Gillespie is ready to go.

Lansing City Pulse reports “We’ve had multiple meetings with site architects, site planners, real estate brokers,” said developer Pat Gillespie, President of the Gillespie Group, which bought the property in 2007. “Right now, I’d label it a mix of entertainment, retail and experience-driven stuff. We’ve probably had more than 25 different site plans drawn up. Nothing is hard and fast. It’s all a clean slate.” Bright orange “Now Available” signs were placed along the side of the building this week. Gillespie envisions a mixed-use concept that could potentially include a hotel, apartments and retail space — including a grocery market or another big-box-type store that could help anchor the plaza.

Gillespie thinks this project is a combination of demolition and construction. Sears has requested they find new occupants for the project to help defer costs. The majority of the parcel is a parking lot, but it also includes a 196,000 square foot retail building.

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There is a lot of redevelopment going on in the area, the Gillespie Group thinks this redevelopment may also be able to access the student market, being so close to MSU. They are in the planning stages this year, and hope to be building in 2022.

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