The vacant Sears department store in downtown Santa Monica will undergo a $50 million renovation that will transform the Art Deco landmark into a mixed-use development with office spaces and small-shop retail spaces. It will be renamed The Mark 302.
The Santa Monica store is now owned by Seritage Growth Properties, a New York real investment trust which purchased 235 Sears and Kmart stores from Sears Holding Corp. for $2.7 billion. Most of the stores were leased back to Sears but due to declining sales, the retailer closed more than 200 stores this 2017, including the Santa Monica store, which was shut down April 2017.
The Mark 302 redevelopment, designed by House & Robertson Architects, calls for the creation of a new atrium. Holes will be cut in the floor plates in the middle of the building to allow natural light into all four floors and basement area.
The existing roof will also be temporarily removed during construction of the fourth story. The new level makes use of the attic space between the third floor and the roof, which Sears previously used for storage. The roof will then be restored as a landscaped roof deck featuring ocean views.
The rooftop amenity will only be for the exclusive use of office space tenants occupying the third and fourth floors. Kacy Keys, senior vice-president for development, western region at Seritage, predicts that a single tenant will lease the entire 50,000 sq. ft. of office space. “We expect a Silicon Beach-type tenant,” she said.
Preliminary work of hollowing out the existing structure has recently been completed.