Sears closing at Six Corners; property has been for lease for past year
by BRIAN NADIG
Sears Department Store, the longtime retail anchor of the Six Corners Shopping District, is closing this July.
“The Six Corners shopping district has revolved around Sears Department Store (for 80 years), and it’s going to be a big loss for all the businesses,” said Six Corners Chamber of Commerce member Joe Angelastri, who owns City Newsstand, 4018 N. Cicero Ave.
One of the advantages which Six Corners had over other neighborhood shopping districts was it featured a major department store and a large theater, but that advantage is at least temporarily gone, Angelastri said. Earlier this year the Portage Theater, 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave., closed, but the building’s owner is seeking a new tenant.
Sears’ employees reportedly were notified of the store’s closing Thursday morning. It is the last remaining Sears in the city.
Thursday’s announcement is not a surprise given that Sears has been closing many of stores in recent years due to declining sales, and the Six Corners store has been available for lease for the past year. Promotional materials state the building can be subdivided to accommodate smaller stores.
Alderman John Arena’s chief of staff Owen Brugh said that he is unaware of any new tenants being lined up for the Sears building but that Seritage Growth Properties has been “aggressively” marketing the space.
Northwest Chicago Historical Society researcher Frank Suerth said that Sears has served as a landmark destination on the Northwest Side for decades and has played a significant role in the area’s growth and history.
“I suppose Six Corners wouldn’t be what it was without Sears on that corner,” Suerth said. “Now two of those corners are going to be without an anchor.”
The site of a former bank across from Sears has remained vacant for about 2 years. Last summer the site’s developer recommended the construction of a 10-story building with senior housing and retail uses there, but the plan has stalled. An earlier proposal for a one-story retail center with rooftop parking never materialized.
When Sears opened at Six Corners in 1938, nearly 100,000 people showed up on the first day. Until 1957, a Hillman’s grocery store operated in the store’s basement, and in 1972 Sears underwent an expansion when a large addition was constructed.