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Landmark and Legend
Memphis, TN
Here we note legends-in-their-own-time and landmarks as they transition into history


 
Sears (Laurelwood)
1958-2016
 
Since 1958 the large Sears (Sears and Roebuck) building at 4570 Poplar Avenue has been a landmark at the east Memphis corner of Poplar Avenue and Perkins Extended. Back then, Sears was one of the nation's biggest retailers and the Sears department stores were among the largest such establishments. Sears has been less successful in recent decades and now it has sold more than 200 of its Sears and K-Mart real estate holdings. The buyer is Seritage Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust, which paid $8.2-million for the Laurelwood property, including the Sears Auto Center there, in July, 2015. Almost all of Seritage's properties were and are Sears or K-Mart stores. The retailer leases the space back. Seritage, however, has the right to downsize the Sears operations and put in additional lessees in the buildings. That was being considered for the Laurelwood store but other ideas prevailed. Laurelwood Shopping Center is a separate entity and its chief operating officer has described the Sears building as being "outdated," "unkempt," an "eyesore," which needs to be replaced. Sears closed in ther spring of 2016 and the buildings were demolished in the last half of that year.

New buildings are being built at the location and will be identified as "Poplar Commons." The developer says several retail establishements, including Nordstrom Rack, and restaurants will be house in the new facilities.