- This historic Art Deco Sears building (listed in the National Historical Register of Historic places in 2006) is still a functional Sears store. In fact Sears recently signed a new 99-year lease on the front of the building. However, it remains a mystery what the remainder of the massive 1.8 million square feet building will be used for.
Built in 1927 as a store and regional distribution center for Sears, this place was used that capacity until 1991. At that point, Sears downsized its presence here to a retail storefront and sold the building. Since that time development of the site into a mixed use residential and retail center has been constantly under discussion. It remains unclear who will undertake the re-vitalization of this extremely large building. The site has lot going for it–it is right off the highway, immediately next to downtown L.A., and an important consumer outlet in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. The downside is so much capitol needed for a project of this size.
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