"We now have a new lease with General Growth, which means that we will not be closing," said Julie Santa Cruz, general manager of the Provo Sears store.
She said when the Provo store's future was in doubt, the surrounding community responded with overwhelming support ,expressing a desire for Sears to stay. "And now we are delighted that we can tell them that we are still going to be around."
That also means the store's approximately 100 employees will not have to look for jobs.
Santa Cruz said that the sale to General Growth was not because the store was unprofitable. "It was and continues to be a profitable location."
Rather, the sale of the Provo store and the 10 other locations all of which were tenants in General Growth-owned properties was strictly a real estate transaction that helped Sears Holdings added liquidity to its balance sheet.
Scott Hansen, general manager of the Provo Towne Centre, described the new short-term lease with Sears as a "welcome development" that still gives General Growth the option of pursuing an alternative tenant for the shopping complex if an opportunity presents itself.
"But I don't see that happening in the near future," he said. "The community loves Sears, and we still love Sears. And I don't see that changing anytime soon."
The future of the Fashion Place Sears location is less clear.
"We are still looking at all of our options for that property," said Celese Dorris, Fashion Place general manager.