There are so many things synonymous with Macy’s: shopping, Thanksgiving Day Parade, July 4th Fireworks, and now an office tower. It was recently reported that Macy's was looking to build an office tower on top of its iconic Herald Square flagship location.
You don’t have to be a retail industry analyst to know that physical retail stores have been closing and consolidating, faced with pressures from e-commerce, fast fashion brands, and Millennials looking for more experiences than shopping.
According to a Bloomberg story, "The company has floated plans for a 1.2 million-square-foot (111,500-square-meter) office tower that would be used by other tenants, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Macy’s probably would push for zoning changes around its property to allow for the 800-foot (244-meter) building, which would bring an estimated 6,000 additional people to the area, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The plans are exploratory and may change."
Reports have said that Macy’s has been in talks with New York City about the project. Two years ago the retailer wanted to add a roof deck to the Herald Square store as a way to increase foot traffic. Feedback on that idea is what led to the idea that building upwards might be a better idea. According to a Macy's real estate executive, people in the real estate industry told the Macy’s real estate team constantly, "We love this piece of real estate, how do we get a piece of it?"
A Macy's spokesperson said: “Based on these discussions, we believe the best way to unlock the store’s underlying real estate value and promote economic activity in the area is to build a commercial office tower while continuing to operate this iconic store as our national flagship. But we’re still early in this process and there are a number of hurdles we need to cross before we can share more concrete details,” the statement says.
One can’t imagine all that will have to happen in the area to absorb 6,000 additional people…might there even be some eminent domain news?