Sears in Saginaw Township, located at 4900 Fashion Square Mall, will be closing its doors.

The Mid-Michigan location is one among 26 large-format Sears and Kmart stores across the country that will close in late October.

The company said the Sears Auto Centers at store locations will close in late August.

Liquidation sales are expected to start around Aug. 15.

"There's no question it's something we've somewhat anticipated," said Paul Martin, general manager of the Fashion Square Mall.

In October 2018, Sears filed for bankruptcy and announced plans to close 142 unprofitable stores.

At the time, the Sears in Saginaw was not slated to close.

Martin said it is time to turn the page.

"Fashion Square Mall literally sits on the busiest corner in the tri-county area, Bay and Tittabawassee. So that actually opens up opportunities for new re-development, and that's the way we're going to proceed from this point forward," Martin said.

Meanwhile, local leaders are working with Fashion Square to help the mall re-invent itself.

"We will do what we need to do to lure a great development into our community," Saginaw Township Manager Rob Grose said.

Grose is optimistic new business will fill the void Sears leaves behind.

"Saginaw Township has been well-known for years to be a test market for a lot of franchise restaurants, nice restaurants, and retailers. So we hope that still is the same, but it's done in a different manner," Grose said.

Grose and Martin are working on a new development strategy for the mall. They both acknowledge the status quo must change, saying now is the time to usher in a mixed-use philosophy.

"They've got to be willing to tear down a portion of the mall and rebuild out lots, you know. We've got several areas for out lots that can be developed to create a lifestyle center and then have something as a hub in the middle," Grose said.

Grose is adamant it will take collaboration between local leaders, developers, and mall ownership to ensure Fashion Square Mall stays around for years to come.

Martin said he is all in.

"This period is going to include some growing pains, and those growing pains are going to give us an opportunity to find out exactly where we fit with the community. Given the real estate that we sit on, I'm totally confident that Fashion Square Mall will be here for a long time," Martin said.

Sears said it cannot rule out additional closures at this time.

The Sears in Portage is also slated to shut its doors in this round of closures.

For more on the overall closures, click here.

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