The owners of the Eden Prairie Center shopping mall are exploring alternative uses for the space currently occupied by the soon-to-close Sears department store.

CAPREF Eden Prairie South LLC, an affiliate of the owners, recently purchased for $16 million the 204,566-square-foot building and 18-acre parcel where Sears has been a tenant since the mall opened in 1976.

“Recognizing the multi-million dollar remodel underway at Eden Prairie Center’s AMC Theatres 18 and the recently announced addition of Crave, the location of this parcel is well-positioned for future opportunities,” said Todd Minnis, chief investment officer for CAPREF, in a statement.  “We have finalized an agreement with Sears Holdings to reclaim the space so that we will have complete control of the future of this prime real estate.”

Late last month, Sears Holdings Corp. said it would close the Eden Prairie store in November as the Chicago-based retailer works to cut expenses and faces sales declines.

It’s not clear what business would occupy the space, but different uses are being considered.

“Our leasing team is exploring other options that will not only complement the mall’s existing merchant mix, but provide our shoppers with unique offerings not available at other area shopping centers,” Minnis said.

The Sears departure follows other news at the mall that Crave restaurant will occupy the space that used to be home to Biaggi’s Ristorante Italiano and AMC’s $6.5 million project to upgrade its movie theater.  

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