The Sears department store at Southlake Mall is being auctioned online, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will close.The struggling Hoffman Estates-based retailer, which has been closing stores across the country for years and sold off its iconic Craftsman line of tools last year, is selling 16 stores in a bid to raise capital, but is looking for lease-back deals through which it would collect a windfall from the sale and pay rent to a new owner instead of owning the building outright.”We are pursuing a sale/leaseback of the Sears store,” spokesman Howard Riefs said. “The store will then be leased by Sears (instead of owned) and remain open to the public.”Cushman & Wakefield and RealINSIGHT Marketplace are auctioning off the 210,404-square-foot Sears, which was one of the original anchor stores when the Southlake Mall opened in 1974. It encompasses a 185,887-square-foot store and 24,517-square-foot auto center on a 17.5-acre site. The auction is slated to take place at noon on May 22.Along with Carson’s, JC Penney, Macy’s, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sears is one of of the main anchors of the super-regional mall at U.S. 30 and Mississippi Street, which has more than 160 retailers and 1.4 million square feet of retail… Read full this story
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