The former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, across Long Beach Boulevard from Long Beach Plaza Mall, is biting the dust. Demolition work on the 58-year-old main building began early this month and is expected to be finished in late August, Long Beach Redevelopment Agency officials said.
The agency bought out Sears' interest last year, including ownership of about a fifth of the two-block site, and leaseholds on most of the rest. The agency's goal is to buy the entire seven acres, raze all the buildings and resell the parcel for retail development, Roger Anderman, assistant executive director, said.
The 150,000-square-foot main building, which is on the block southeast of Long Beach Boulevard and 5th Street, is being razed because it "was a problem in terms of vandalism, fire and maintenance, plus it is not part of redevelopment plans for the site," Anderman said. The auto shop, garden shops and maintenance buildings on the block southeast of Long Beach Boulevard and 6th Street were torn down earlier this year, Anderman said.
A market study on possible uses of the Sears site is expected to be finished in July, Anderman said.
Citing declining sales and shoplifting, Sears closed its Long Beach store in 1978.