Retail, hotel, fast food and car wash slated for site
By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
LINCOLN PARK – The former Sears building at Southfield and Toledo-Dix roads seems destined for demolition instead of being repurposed, with retail space, a hotel, fast food restaurants and a car wash proposed.
The Bank of America building at the northern tip of the Southfield and Toledo-Dix intersection would remain unchanged.
A proposal for the site, contingent upon the demolition of the former Sears building, would include the construction of 30,000- and 50,000-square-foot buildings in the northeast corner of the property, a four-story, 68,120-square-foot hotel, with a 16,830-square-foot footprint in the northwest section, and a car wash and three fast food restaurants with drive-through lanes along Southfield Road.
The impact of traffic entering and exiting the fast food restaurants along Southfield Road would be an important consideration along an already busy road. The car wash may also raise concerns about vehicles dripping water onto Southfield Road, which could freeze during the winter months.
Mayor Michael Higgins said he has questions he would like answered about the hotel before he is onboard with that element of the proposal.
Carl Malysz, Lincoln Park Economic Development director and Downtown Development director, said in March 2022 that Seritage, the owner of the Sears building, had come to the conclusion that repurposing the building into a big box store was not feasible, and it realized that the best option was to sell the property to a developer.
He said the current infrastructure might not be suited to manufacturing development, and said a warehouse would not create a significant number of jobs.
Malysz said in March 2022 that he favored a mixed use development, but hopes that the economy would support it, adding that something “new and shiny” was better than nothing at all.
He said the city hopes to see development that will increase the assessed value and positively impact the property from a tax standpoint.
In July 2022, Malysz announced that A.F. Jonna Development purchased the Seritage portion of the site. The company has developed commercial and retail sites throughout southeast Michigan.