Sears may not be providing appliances to the next generation, but its former retail footprint could provide lessons instead.
Marx Realty announced Monday it finalized a 10-year, 40,000-square-foot lease with SUNY Westchester Community College at the Cross County Center in Yonkers. The lease marks a 30,000-square-foot expansion for WCC at the open-air shopping center.
The school previously used its limited space for classrooms and offices for professors. By increasing its real estate footprint, WCC will be able to expand to include new lab space and a design school, as well as additional degree and certification programs.
The school’s expansion takes it into the site of a former Sears location. It will occupy the third floor of the new Target building, set to open later in 2022.
A media representative on behalf of Marx Realty told The Real Deal the asking rent for the space was $65 per square foot.
WCC’s expansion comes more than a year after Target signed a 40-year, 130,000-square-foot lease at Cross County Center, which will be the retail giant’s first location in the city of Yonkers. It was the largest retail lease of the year in the tri-state area.
“Retailer confidence in Cross County Center is bolstered by our efforts to bring a diverse mix of tenants to the location and provide an environment designed for success well into the future,” said Jim Stifel, chief investment officer of Benenson Capital, which co-owns the 1.15-million-square-foot shopping center.
Target and WCC leases are part of a larger plan from the owners to develop a “town square” concept at the shopping center. Cross County Center brings in 14 million visitors each year.
Sears has been gutted since the retailer began bankruptcy proceedings in October 2018, since it was taken over by Transformco. As Sears stores across the U.S. close their doors, the brand’s real estate has been repurposed to serve local needs.
The former Sears at Lake Grove’s Smith Haven Mall, for instance, is soon to become the home of an outpatient facility from Stony Brook Medicine’s Clinical Practice Management.
The mall location was the second shuttered Sears purchased by Steel Equities. Newsday reported Bethpage-based real estate company has plans for a similar transformation in Garden City, where NYU Langone Health is planning on opening an ambulatory care center.