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Gillespie looking to redevelop former Sears building in Frandor, 'looking to reinvent what it was’

Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-13 09:45:46-05

LANSING, Mich. — The former Sears Building in the Frandor Shopping Center has been around for nearly 70 years. Now, its owners are looking to redevelop the site as anything from a hotel to an entertainment venue.

“It was built in 1954, so it’s got a lot of history with Lansing,” said Pat Gillespie, CEO of the Gillespie Group. “It’s seen a lot of different ups and downs throughout the years. It’s a mainstay.”

The 196,000-square-foot building sits on 14 acres. It was bought by the Gillespie Group In 2007, and they’re the ones leading the redevelopment. Gillespie said multiple people have taken interest in the location.

“We’ve probably had, I think in the last 12 months, about 50 phone calls from different folks, everything from hospitality to entertainment, to retail and student housing,” Gillespie said.

While Sears has a lease at the location until 2029, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and has closed hundreds of stores since. The Frandor location closed last year. The company is involved in the redevelopment project with Gillespie.

“A lot of the stores still have a lease in place,” Gillespie said. “They’re looking to do subleases to get the money back they’re spending.”

Gillespie hopes redevelopment plans will be concrete within the next 12 months.

“Looking to reinvent what it was and turn it into something better and more dynamic,” he said.

The project could cost between $40 million and $150 million, he said.

For now, Sparrow Hospital is using the site to distribute COVID-19 vaccines and administer tests.

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Erica Murphy

Erica Murphy

1:21 PM, Mar 03, 2021

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Erica Murphy