Sears- Landmarks Commission


The proposal to reuse the now vacant Sears building on Colorado will be before the Landmarks Commission with a recommendation to approve the application that will eventually fill the property with new office, retail and food businesses.

The store at 302 Colorado Blvd. closed in April of this year following the sale of the location to a real estate investment company. In July of 2015, Sears created a new independent, publicly traded real estate investment trust named Seritage. The new company took control of 235 Sears/Kmart stores and joint ventures with several mall operators including Simon Property Group, General Growth Properties and the Santa Monica based Macerich Company.Under the terms of the $2.7 billion deal, 224 stores were leased back to Sears but Seritage has the right to end some of those leases and find new uses for the property. Seritage exercised that right for the Santa Monica location.

The proposal before the Commission Monday calls for some changes to the building.

“The applicant proposes to rehabilitate and adaptively reuse the former Sears building and requests modifications to the existing building colors, ground floor storefront glazing, rehabilitation of the roof and upper-level with new exterior façades, skylights, and mechanical screening,” said the staff report. “The proposed mix of uses for the building include retail/food serving uses on the ground and basement levels, and office use on upper floors.”

When the Commission designated the building as a landmark in 2004 it identified the

Pronounced emphasis on horizontality expressed by the horizontal striations on the building’s corners and parapets, elongated window bands and the curving canopies above ground floor entries, smooth concrete exterior surfaces with grid of incised squares and several stylized basrelief sculptures and steel and concrete construction incorporating 1947 state-of-the-art “earthquake-proof construction” as historic character-defining features.

Despite significant interior construction, the exterior features will remain largely unchanged and the Landmarks Commission was previously supportive of the plans to reuse the building.

During a 2016 conceptual plan, the commissioners “suggested that the applicant consider reconstructing any original features of the building that have been modified through the years and consider reducing the overall visibility of the roof projection,” said the staff report.

“Additional comments included the importance of the building’s historic color palette and the roof projection’s relation with the existing roof elements, and retaining the existing terrazzo tiling. Any wall mural proposed on the east facing elevation should be carefully considered (modern art suggested) and should consist of paint that is reversible.”

The report said the Commission’s comments have generally been addressed in the revised proposal including a reduction in the roof scale.

The Landmarks Commission will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 11 in the Santa Monica Institute Training Room (2nd Floor), at 3300 Olympic Drive.