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Entertainment Hub Planned at Former Sears Site

Growing up in Lansing, Pat Gillespie would look forward to visiting the nearby Sears, Roebuck & Co. store on Sundays with his family.

“Sears was a staple. We would go and shop for clothes and appliances. I remember going there multiple times and being excited to leave with candy,” said Gillespie, founder and president of the Lansing-based, full-service commercial real estate firm Gillespie Group. “This location carries history that many of us have had as a part of our own upbringing.”

Sears occupied the building on the corner of East Michigan Avenue and North Clippert Street for 66 years before closing in 2019. Gillespie Group has owned the building for 15 years.

Gillespie’s vision is that the 14-acre, 200,000-square-foot space, now being marketed as ROECO — a name chosen to honor the history of Sears, Roebuck and Co. — will become a regional mixed-use entertainment destination fueling a transformation in the Michigan Avenue corridor and Lansing’s Eastside neighborhood.

Rachel Michaud, vice president of Gillespie Group, said the company worked with Sears to take the space to market and explore the opportunities for development.

“This is a pivotal corner with high visibility from the highway, very accessible, down the street from both a Big Ten university as well as the Capitol,” Michaud said. “There is a lot of potential and reasons for businesses and corporations to be present here.”

The ROECO development timeline and final product are subject to change as Gillespie Group finds new partners and adjusts the plan along the way.

“We are putting in the time, effort and work to ensure the space has an impact in the community now and for the future,” Gillespie said.