Skip to main content

A separate piece: Hotel builder gets OK to raze an old Sears

Al Urbanski
The new owners of Charleston Town Center Mall must say farewell to their big anchor space.

One of the key foundations of the early mall business—ceding large chunks of space to department store anchors—is now a factor in the undoing of many old malls.

Such a scenario is now unfolding in Charleston, W. Va. where the vacated anchor space owned by Sears was sold to one investment company and the mall itself to another.  This week the Sears owner received permission to demolish the old Sears store after a motion filed by the mall owner to block the knock-down was denied by Kanawha County Circuit Court.

Hull Property Group, the recent purchaser of Charleston Town Center Mall, now will have to accept having its anchor lot occupied by a separately owned hotel. The Sears building owner, Quarrier Street LLC, is a division of KM Hotels, which owns a Homewood Suites by Hilton in Charleston, according to WSAZ news, the local NBC affiliate in West Virginia’s capital.

For six months, Hull had refused to sign off on Quarrier’s demolition permit, citing an unwritten policy that allowed it to veto Quarrier’s property rights and development plans, according to WSAZ. But Charleston City Attorney Kevin Baker said that the permit satisfied requirements set down by the state’s Supreme Court of Appeals in an earlier case.

Hull Property leaders may be consoled by the fact that the many hotels replacing vacated mall spaces across the nation turn out to be better traffic builders than Sears stores these days.

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds