Today, Macy’s, Inc. announced the closing of its Saint Paul store along with multiple other locations across the country. Saint Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED) staff have already begun to consider reuses for the site, which will be one of four downtown light rail stops when the Green Line opens in spring of 2014. In 2001, the city provided a $6.3 million forgivable loan to assist with asbestos abatement and some store improvements. Repayment terms for the loan expired on December 31, 2012.
“In 2001, downtown Saint Paul was in the beginning stages of recovery after several years of decline, and losing a big-box store like Macy’s could have potentially jeopardized that recovery. But today the face of downtown has changed, and we stand on a firm foundation that includes the building of hundreds of new housing units, a Lund’s grocery store, the Lowertown regional ballpark, a revitalized Union Depot, and an almost completed Central Corridor light rail line,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “Downtown Saint Paul’s momentum and rebirth continues. And much like when the ballpark or light rail was in the infant stages of great redevelopment ideas, the Macy’s site provides the city with a tremendous opportunity to bring another part of our city into the 21st century.”
The closing of Macy’s brings with it great redevelopment potential, according to Matt Kramer, President and CEO of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. “We understand that large national retailers have been trending for years to the suburban mall model. And while we hate to see Macy’s leave Saint Paul, we are very optimistic about the quick redevelopment of this site given its prime real estate location.”
PED Director Cecile Bedor noted, “We are confident that the development community will recognize the potential of this site, and we’re looking forward to working with Macy’s to ensure a quick and efficient sale and reuse.”