Glenbrook Sears store to be torn down, redeveloped; new apartments and Shigs In Pit also planned

The Sears store, one of Genbrook Square's originl tnants, closed last year. Now it will be torn down and the site redeveloped as the "Shoppes at Glenbrook." ( fil photo)
The city-owned Civic Center Garage will also get a facelift when two floors are added to improve downtown parking, according to a rendering filed with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission. (Courtesy image)

The Glenbrook Square Sears store, which opened in 1966 and closed late last year as part of the struggling retailer’s downsizing, will be torn down and redeveloped as the “Shoppes at Glenbrook,” The News-Sentinel has learned.

According to an application filed this week with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission, New York-based Seritage SRC Finance, which has acquired the property from Sears, will tear down the former store and adjacent auto center and will erect a new retail building to be connected to the mall.

Tenants for the new building have not been determined, but a freestanding Portillos restaurant building will also be erected on the 19.5-acre site. Founded in 1963, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain specializes in Chicago-style hot dogs, hamburgers and other casual fare.

“The size of the site, with the addition of new restaurants and other tenants, some of which will be new to the area, warrants its own signage,” states the application, which seeks approval for monument-style signs for Portillos, BJ’s Brewhouse and the new Chick-fil-A, which are also located on Seritage’s property. A 15-foot pylon sign would identify tenants within the new building.

Attorney Pete Mallers said the timing of demolition and construction will be determined by how quickly tenants are signed.

Sears had opened at Glenbrook as one of the mall’s original tenants, and in the early 1950s moved its store from downtown to a now-closed location on Rudisill Boulevard. Sears also had a store at the old Southtown Mall until 2002.

The Glenbrook plan is not the only project that will seek the commission’s approval next month.

Indianapolis-based Domo Development is seeking approval to build an 11-building, 180-unit apartment complex on the site of the former Coventry theaters at 5495 Coventry Lane. The Ventry Apartments would contain a total of 64,730 square feet on 8.3 acres. Ventry brought the property last year after the 13-screen theater closed in February.

The city meanwhile, has officially requested approval of its previously announced plan to add two floors to the two floors to the south half of its downtown Civic Center parking garage. Thanks to the addition of 400 SIRVA employees in the adjacent Indiana Michigan Power Center and other downtown growth, it can be difficult to find a place to park during weekdays. The Capital Improvement Board is helping pay for the project with restaurant tax revenues, and the expanded garage will also get a decorative facade, according to renderings filed with the Plan Commission.

Also seeking Plan Commission approval is an application from Blaine Stuckey for a new Shig In Pit barbecue restaurant commercial building at 8506 Illinois Road. The two buildings would contain a total of about 11,750 square feet.