Five new stores, including Hobby Lobby, coming to former Sears site at Jackson mall

Update: Jackson officials ‘looking forward’ to redevelopment of old Sears site

JACKSON, MI – Five new businesses are coming to the Jackson Crossing Mall.

The former Sears will be converted into five new storefronts, said Patrick Vassar Director of Underwriting for Ignite Funding. Ignite Funding is based in Las Vegas and has developments in 28 states, Vassar said. They chose Jackson because there was a lot of potential for the site.

Sears closed its retail store in November 2018 and its auto center in February 2020, per previous reporting.

Now the 130,000 square-feet building will be separated into five stores, ranging from roughly 6,700 square-feet to 57,000 square-feet, according to the site plan. The project will cost an estimated $6.1 million, per Ignite Funding.

Sears Auto Center closing in Jackson

The first lease is signed with Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store, which will open in June, according to the company’s press team. The store will open in the largest area, about 57,000 square-feet. There are four Hobby Lobby stores about a 45-minute drive from Jackson, according to the store’s location page.

The other four businesses will be announced later, after contracts are signed, Vassar said. He said contract signing is delayed as Ignite works with the city to have permits approved.

Part of the delay also stems from a timeline disagreement between Ignite and the city of Jackson, Vassar said. City officials did not respond to request for comment at time of publication.

Ignite will construct an additional four buildings in the parking lot near the old Sears building. The city wants construction to start on those sites before renovations begin inside the old Sears, Vassar said.

That site work will cost about $2 million, and Ignite wants to start work inside Sears first, in part because of money constraints, Vassar said.

“They are requiring us to do the site work before we do the interior demo, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he said. “That’s the whole sticking point right now.”

Once those additional buildings are done, they will be drive-through style, Vassar said. He expects it’ll be about a year and a half before those are built.

“I think everyone will be happy with the tenant mix,” Vassar said. “Hopefully we can just agree with the city with when to spend those on-site improvement dollars. I’m willing to bet everyone around there will be extremely happy with the national brands that are coming in.”

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