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Sears project stirs gentrification talk in Boyle Heights




LA real estate developer Izek Shomof bought the 23-acre property in November 2013. Plans to turn the building into a mixed residential, retail and office space are awaiting approval by the city.
LA real estate developer Izek Shomof bought the 23-acre property in November 2013. Plans to turn the building into a mixed residential, retail and office space are awaiting approval by the city.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC

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Since the 1920s, the Sears Roebuck building has sparkled as a Boyle Heights landmark — 11 stories tall.  Several football fields wide.  An Art Deco treasure that draws tourists.

But inside, there isn't much to see. Sears shut down what was one of its biggest distribution centers two decades ago when its mail order business dried up, reports KPCC's Josie Huang.  A retail store still operates on the ground floor, but the rest of the building is gutted and covered in grit.

Developer Ulisses Sanchez is unfazed. "I just see a lot of endless opportunity," he said.

Read the full story: Sears project stirs gentrification talk in Boyle Heights