Sears Holdings Corp has revealed plans to build a 1,000-room, luxury apartment tower in downtown Los Angeles, a project that has stoked opposition to the planned project and raised questions about the long-term viability of the struggling department store chain.
The news that Sears Holdings, a major investor in the company that built the iconic building in Chicago, is expanding into Los Angeles comes amid the broader corporate restructuring at Sears Holdings as the company struggles to win back the attention of consumers and investors after the collapse of the dot-com bubble in 2000.
The company’s plans for the new project, which will rise about 15 feet above the downtown skyline, have yet to be finalized.
It will be built at the site of the old Sears Tower and would be the tallest structure in the Los Angeles area.
Sears Holdings said in a statement that the project would be a landmark addition to the city’s skyline.
It is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
Searces Tower was the first Sears building in the United States to be built, opening in 1947.
The building’s name was inspired by the company’s famous catalog.
In an interview with Reuters, Sears CEO Eddie Lampert said the company has been focused on building a brand that is more diverse, diverse, and diverse, a theme that extends to the new tower.
“We want to create a brand with more of a diversity of voices and perspectives that are able to support our vision of the future,” he said.
Lampert has said that Sears has struggled to keep up with the pace of change in the retail industry as it has lost about 1,200 stores since 2011.
The Sears Tower project has drawn opposition from residents who want to preserve the iconic store and to protect the neighborhood from the impact of rising sea levels.
In April, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the tower’s height from a neighborhood group that said the tower could block views of the harbor.
In response, Lampert has vowed to work with the city and county of Los Angeles to keep the Sears tower as a landmark.
He has also vowed to keep its downtown location, which he has called a “must see” in Los Angeles.