11/27/11 — Sears Auto ready to move, site to be clear for Olive Garden

View Archive

Sears Auto ready to move, site to be clear for Olive Garden

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on November 27, 2011 1:50 AM

Sears Auto Center's new home beside Kmart in the Ashley Plaza shopping center should be ready for the business to relocate this week, paving the way for the construction of a new restaurant at the Berkeley Mall.

Kmart floor manager Bernice Gorum said the renovations to the store were expected to be finished two weeks ago and that Sears Auto would be able to move in soon. A spokesperson for Sears said in September that the move would happen within two to three months.

The move is especially important for Wayne County restaurant-goers. The current Sears Auto building needs to be demolished before an Olive Garden restaurant can be built in its place.

Heidi Schauer, an Olive Garden spokesperson, said her company does not comment on a specific plan until a project has broken ground, though she expected to be able to speak on the matter in the summer.

The Italian restaurant will be housed in an 11,311-square-foot structure along with an additional 3,514 square feet for retail sales.

The site and landscape plans for the restaurant were approved at a June 6 City Council meeting and the building permit for the restaurant has been issued as well, though it only contains information about the dimensions of the shell building and parking arrangements. The plans were good for one year.

The Inspections Department has said more specific details won't be known until Sears Auto has relocated and the building is demolished.