Tenants sought for Crystal Lake Sears building

CRYSTAL LAKE – A real estate firm is seeking tenants for the Sears building on Route 14, but the store will remain open, a company spokesman said.

"The store is not closing," Sears Holding Corp. spokesman Howard Riefs said Friday, but the company is seeking other tenants to share the space.

"This is our standard practice of pursing subtenants, out-parcel development and alternative uses within our large real estate asset footprint," Riefs said. "In doing so, we are not closing and replacing an existing store but rather seeking complementary retailers."

Mid-America Real Estate Corp. listed the 103,867-square-foot free-standing building at 105 Route 14 for lease. The real estate company also is seeking tenants for the Sears store in Bloomingdale and six Kmart stores in the suburbs.

Riefs said the real estate strategy has worked elsewhere.

"Other real estate brokers around the country have successfully performed in this capacity on our behalf," he said. "For example, the Olive Garden recently leased space on our Kmart property on West Addison Street in Chicago, where they plan to build a new restaurant. The store will remain there and continue to serve customers."  

Mid-America listed the Crystal Lake property for anchor and junior anchor tenants, highlighting the site's "excellent visibility" and the more than 27,100 vehicles that pass by daily on Route 14.

The building is located at the southeast corner of Route 14 and Virginia Road.

Sears has closed less-profitable stores and implemented other cost-savings measures as it has struggled to turnaround its business.

The lease news was first reported Thursday by Crain's Real Estate Daily, which said Sears was "laying the groundwork to close more Sears and Kmart stores in the Chicago area" to raise cash.