New York City — Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M) has unveiled plans to overhaul its flagship Herald Square store at the corner of 34th Street and Seventh Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. The plan would add a commercial office tower atop the store. The size and design features of the office component were not disclosed.
The plan includes a private investment totaling $235 million by Macy’s that would modernize the public spaces around the flagship store, including upgraded subway access, improved transit connections and pedestrian-friendly and car-free streetscapes at Broadway Plaza and Herald Square.
Macy’s would improve Herald Square Subway Station’s entrances and add publicly accessible elevators at Seventh Avenue, Broadway, 34th Street and 35th Street that are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The renewal plan is expected to generate $269 million annually in new tax revenues for New York City, support 16,290 annual jobs and spark $4.29 billion in annual economic output, according to Macy’s.
“Today’s announcement is a resounding vote of confidence for Manhattan and the entire state, and a strong indication that New York’s retailers and consumers will drive this economic recovery,” says Melissa O’Connor, president and CEO of the Retail Council of New York State, the largest retail association in New York.
Macy’s plans to work closely with local officials, Manhattan Community Board 5, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the 34th Street Partnership and other community stakeholders on final designs.
After Macy’s completes a draft scope of work and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), the proposal will go through the City of New York’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure process before moving forward to ground breaking. The company plans to keep the Herald Square store open throughout the construction process, the duration of which was not disclosed.
Macy’s has operated the 2.2 million-square-foot Herald Square location since 1902 and has hosted world-renown events at the store, such as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Flower Show, Fourth of July fireworks and Santaland. The store was the setting and filming location of the 1947 holiday movie “Miracle on 34th Street,” according to IMDb.
“We are proud to make this leadership investment in New York’s recovery and are excited to welcome visitors back to Herald Square not only today, but for generations to come,” says Jeff Gennette, chairman and CEO of Macy’s.
Macy’s Inc. comprises three retail brands: Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury. As of Jan. 30, 2021, the New York City-based company operated 789 department stores, specialty stores and distribution centers.
Macy’s had planned to invest in a 630-job tech office hub in Midtown Atlanta before pulling the plug last year citing concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The retailer’s stock price closed on Monday, May 10 at $17.33 per share, up from $5.27 a year ago.
— John Nelson