The vacant Sears department store in downtown Santa Monica is poised for an extreme makeover that will turn the former down-to-earth purveyor of general merchandise into a swanky place to work, eat or grab a beer.
Soon the Art Deco landmark will be home to sun-drenched offices for rent with a rooftop garden and a market hall where vendors sell food, drinks and other wares such as books or clothing. It will be renamed the Mark 302.
The $50-million renovation is yet another example of how developers are repurposing the growing number of empty big-box stores left behind by fading traditional retailers — especially in desirable locations.
And it would be hard to find a belly-up store in a better locale.