A local developer is planning to purchase a sprawling former Sears store building in Milwaukee’s central city.
Kalan Haywood, owner of Haywood Group LLC, has had the 6.5-acre parcel at 2100 W. North Ave., under contract for about six months.
Haywood will likely redevelop the three-story 216,000-square-foot building into a mixed-use development, but first, he wants to seek input from the community.
“Without ownership, I can’t have meaningful communication with the neighborhood,” Haywood said. “And this project will not be done without involving the community.”
Haywood is seeking a $1.65 million bridge/pre-development loan from the Milwaukee Economic Development Corp. to purchase the building.
He hopes to close on the property in February and then begin community outreach.
“There are a ton of individuals in the community from faith-based to schools trying to do their part,” he said. “In real estate, we can play a part with the buildings. I pass this building at least once a day. It is on a prominent corner and I think if we can move it in the right direction, we can get some real momentum in moving other positive things forward.”
Haywood does not anticipate residential use in the building, but said he could foresee multi-family housing near the property.
Sears vacated the property in 1979. The second and third floor of the building have remained vacant. The first floor has had a number of revolving local retailers, Haywood said.
Haywood’s other projects include converting the Germania Building in downtown Milwaukee from offices to apartments.