Sears to redevelop property in Florida mall

Sears (NYSE:SHLD) submitted plans to the city of Aventura, Florida, for the redevelopment of its property at Aventura Mall. The new look will include an open-air village featuring retail, restaurants, offices and a hotel.

Called Esplanade at Aventura, the development will be a total turnaround of the current state of the 12.3 acres owned by Sears, reported CoStar. Currently the property features a Sears full-line store, Sears Auto Center and surface parking areas.

"Our owned real estate adjacent to Aventura Mall, one of the largest and most successful malls in the country, provides a significant platform for shareholder value creation, and we have a vision for the property that dramatically improves the overall retail experience," said Jeff Stollenwerck, president of real estate for Sears Holdings.

The new development will include 250,000 sq. ft. of retail and restaurants and 45,000 sq. ft. of office space, a hotel and parking structures. Sears will retain a 20,000 sq. ft. smaller-format store.

The announcement comes just days after Sears created a real estate investment trust (REIT). The company filed an 8-K regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, which said the brand would sell between 200 and 300 stores to the REIT and then lease them back, hopefully creating some cash.

The company has been busy trying to build up its cash flow in time for the holiday selling season. Some tactics include selling stores and selling off assets, and the sale of a Cupertino, California store for $102.5 million last month—all in an effort to turn around nine straight quarters of losses. Recent strategic moves include raising $625 million through an unsecured loan and the prospect of eventually raising about $380 million by selling off a stake in Sears Canada. Last month, Edward Lampert, the company's CEO, loaned Sears $400 million from his own hedge fund, ESL Investments.

For more:
-See this CoStar article

Related stories:
Sears Canada CEO resigns
No bids in Sears Canada auction
Sears launches interactive shops within stores
Sears continues downward spiral, closing 80 more stores
Sears Canada to cut 1,600 jobs as it outsources, restructures

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