LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The giant empty Sears building in the Midtown district of Little Rock is finally going to start getting some attention. On Tuesday, it was announced the entire property which spans the old Sears building and the medical corridor was purchased for $44 million by a company in Dallas.
“Coming from a small town, we don't really have much and for them to steadily open stores, I think that's a very good thing,” said Tiayana Davis, who just moved into the area.
Steady growth in Midtown has been obvious to locals. From apartments, LA Fitness, two malls, restaurants, and now Sears, the growth will continue down University Avenue.
“It's right on Interstate 630, on Mills Freeway, and it's right on University Avenue in the heart of the medical corridor,” said Jeff Yates, ARK Investment and Commercial Real Estate.
This property sits on 30 acres and the sellers have owned it for close to 40 years. The sellers said investment and development of this property would be over $100 million.
“You hold something for 40 years, everybody is 40 years older,” said Yates.
The previous owners made a deal with Provident Realty Advisors Inc. out of Dallas to redevelop this property. In total, they bought the land where 5 buildings sit. Yates said the Doctor’s Building and Midtown Medical Park will be the only two to continue services as normal.
“They could put a Walmart in this area, that'd be nice,” said Davis.
We don't know exactly what's replacing the empty Sears, but the buyers said it will potentially be a grocery store development.
“It's kind of bad at night time, so being able to run knowing there's people around, it's just a peace of mind,” said Davis.
No matter if it's a grocery store or retail, new business means new jobs for the area.
“They might have several types of stores out here, so that's going to give an opportunity for people to be hired to service all of,” said Yates.
The Dallas company doing the marketing for the new area is calling the area the "The Shops at University Village." Residents of the Midtown area are excited for a continued change in their community.