Major Renovation Of Sears Crosstown Building Planned
(Memphis) Changes are on the way to Sears Crosstown.
In its heyday, the one and a half million square foot complex was the center piece of retail shopping in Memphis.
The store closed in 1993 and has been nothing more than an empty shell since.
That could soon change says Todd Richardson of the Sears Crosstown Development Project, “It’s really the building itself that’s the blank pallet. There is something mesmerizing about this building.”
With its towering facade, Sears Crosstown is visible from almost anywhere in Memphis.
Todd Richardson says a 200-million dollar renovation will soon breathe life back into the 83-year-old building, “There are engineers in the building testing things and figuring out what’s there, what’s not there, what needs to be there, structurally.”
There are nine prospective tenants for the building, Church Health Center, Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ALSAC, The West Clinic, Gestalt Community School, Memphis Teacher Residency, Rhodes College and Crosstown Arts.
Doctor Scott Morris, executive director of Church Health Center, “It is fair to say this is the biggest thing I will ever be involved in in my life.”
The organization will consolidate its eleven buildings into one location with the move.
It will be the largest tenant in the crosstown building says Dr. Morris, “We will occupy between a hundred and twenty and a hundred and eighty thousand square feet in the new building.”
Steve Shipp owns property across the street from the vacant Sears building, “It’s not only impressive, but it’s something that’s been long overdue.”
He remembers what the old Sears meant to people here and what the renovation will bring to the community, “It acted as a catalyst. The community was heathiest when it was vibrant. I mean, this creates jobs, it creates opportunities for people, it creates hope.”
Plans are to use 400-thousand square feet of space for residential units for young doctors, artists and educators.
It’s not known when construction will begin, but renovation could take three to five years.