Sears in Ala Moana is being forced to shut down operations over six months earlier than originally thought. The owner of Ala Moana Center is forcing the issue because they want to tear down the 300,000 square foot space. With this closing over 300 people will lose jobs, which is a devastating blow for our already fragile economy.
The closure will come on June 2nd, which is over six months earlier than originally thought. Originally the Sears store at Ala Moana was going to close down in early 2014, after the Christmas rush, but since the owner of Ala Moana Center (General Growth Properties Inc.) is forcing their hand they really have no choice.
The Sears store in Ala Moana was one of the original tenants when the mall opened in 1959, and as you can imagine a lot of people are pretty upset about the closure.
According to Sear’s spokesperson Howard Riefs General Growth Properties Inc. “exercised its right to move up the closing date.” Store employees were informed of the change Monday. The store will begin a liquidation sale March 15.
What Will Happen to the Sears Space in Ala Moana?
The 300,000 foot space is scheduled for teardown and rebuilding. General Growth told investors earlier this month it will raze the three-level department store at the Ewa end of the mall for redevelopment that will take about 30 months to complete, pushing the project a year ahead of schedule, according to Alexander Goldfarb, managing director for New York investment banking and equity research firm Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP. The last major mall expansion was the addition of Nordstrom and adjacent retailers in 2008.
“They’re clearly eager to get at the box and do redevelopment on the mall,” Goldfarb said. “They’re very excited about it, and it’s a major asset for them. They spent a lot of money, and they want to be able to show a good return, which obviously they’re hoping will be pretty lucrative.”
The plan will double the retail space and includes adding an anchor tenant as well as midsize and smaller retailers, reconfiguring Centerstage and upgrades to the surrounding street-level shops. General Growth is investing $572.4 million in the redevelopment, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to a supplemental report released with the firm’s year-end financial earnings.
While all of us understand the cost of business, it is still upsetting to many who lobe the Sears Ala Moana store. The store was originally being closed because of the cutbacks Sears is being forced to make in this economy.