Simon hopes to do ‘transformational redevelopment’ of Sears space at Castleton Square mall

Simon Property Group said Thursday it is planning a “transformational redevelopment” that will include entertainment options and at the two-story Sears store that’s slated to close at Castleton Square mall.

Sears Holding Corp. said Thursday it will close that store in late July. It’s among 63 stores Sears deemed to be “non-profitable.”

The Indianapolis-based Simon said it plans to reclaim Sears spaces at its malls across the U.S. and transform them into what it described as new “retail, fitness, dining and entertainment concepts.”

It's not clear, though, how it will proceed with the Castleton space, which Sears owned for decades before listing it for sale in an online auction that occurred last month. The results of the auction have not been announced. It was one of 16 stores that Sears Holdings put up for sale in April. At the time, the retailer said all would remain open after the sales of the real estate were complete.

Simon spokesman Les Morris said the Castleton mall would be among the revamps but he wouldn't speculate about what would be located there.

Simon said in a statement that the revamped spaces “will significantly enhance these shopping destinations."

The Castleton anchor store, built in 1972, includes 20 acres of land and 217,299 square feet of leasable space. The store, located on the mall’s east end, occupies 196,064 square feet. It also has a one-story Sears Auto Center that contains 21,235 square feet.

"As Sears continues to liquidate its stores, it's a terrific opportunity for us to recapture this real estate and redevelop it in a brand-positive way," said Simon Chief Operating Officer Michael E. McCarty in a statement.

"Our team is fully engaged in capitalizing on this opportunity and continues to pursue plans to replace Sears stores with new and compelling ways for consumers to live, work, play, stay and shop at these Simon destinations nationwide,” he said.

The developments could create local jobs as well, Simon said.

"A combination of innovative retail, restaurant, and entertainment concepts are in play for each center,” McCarty said. “Mixed-use elements such as hotel, residential, office, and fitness are also being incorporated.”

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