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Grand Crossing Neighborhood Fears Blight With Sears Closing

Dana Kozlov Dana Kozlov
Dana Kozlov is a general assignment reporter for CBS 2 Chicago. She...
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(CBS) – An iconic Sears store on 79th street with a distinct tower is set to shut down.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.

The original “Sears tower” can’t be missed from the Skyway, and below it sits the 90-year-old Sears store – a fixture in the Grand Crossing neighborhood.

But soon to be gone.

Surprise is what you hear from many near the Sears on 79th and another on Western at 62nd, also suddenly slated for closure.

“It’s a big deal because Sears is our neighborhood store,” shopper Katrina Brown says. “We don’t have major stores like that.”

The shuttered store will sit near a former Jewel grocery store and a boarded-up restaurant in her struggling neighborhood.

A Sears spokesman says both stores are no longer adequately serving customers or shareholders. They’re shutting them down to reduce expenses.

Eighty-three full-time and 164 part-time employees will lose their jobs. But there’s another concern: What if these big buildings sit empty?

“To me it’s dangerous. It’s like seeing vacant apartments,” Grand Crossing resident Margo Perkins says.