Last area Sears to close Sunday

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The last area Sears will close Sunday.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The heyday of Sears in the Miami Valley is coming to an end.

The last area Sears at the Upper Valley Mall in Springfield will close Sunday, according to an employees at the store. All other Sears in the region have closed, including the Miami Valley Centre Mall in Piqua last month and locations at the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Dayton Mall late last year.

Sears has been closing stores and selling off major brands like Craftsman and Lands’ End for decades, trying to stave off bankruptcy as long as possible. But the company eventually had no options left and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late October.

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Sears CEO and former chairman, Eddie Lampert, and his hedge fund ESL Investments recently bought the chain for $5.2 billion, which saved 425 stores and roughly 45,000 jobs. More than 700 stores were open when the company filed for bankruptcy in October and hundreds of others closed in the months leading up to the filing.

Sears is the last major retailer at the Upper Valley Mall, which was once the decades-long hub of retail in Clark County. But longtime anchors like J.C. Penney and Macy’s, along with numerous smaller chains, have gone dark over the last several years.

The Clark County Land Reutilization Corp. owns majority of the property at the Upper Valley Mall and is working on plans to redevelop the space. The county has not yet confirmed the project, but Home Plate Sports Academy posted on Facebook last month that it will be center to a new mixed-use development largely focused on a sports complex.

The redevelopment would include restaurants, retail, a hotel and a movie theater along with the sports complex, and the project could begin this month, according to the Facebook post.

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But redevelopment projects are sometimes more difficult when the mall owners do not own all of the property, which is the case at the Upper Valley mall. Sears affiliate SRC Facilities LLC owns its own box and parking lot, totaling nearly 13 acres, according to Clark County property records.

This news organization is working to learn more about Clark County’s most recent redevelopment plans.

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