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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 7:02 PM
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Macy's closing 4 Downtown stores across US

Of the 5 Macy's closings nationwide, 4 are downtown stores...

Macy's:

Downtown Honolulu, HI (80,000 square feet; opened in 1850 (store must be late 1970s vintage); 91 associates);

Downtown St. Paul, MN (362,000 square feet; opened in 1963; 153 associates);

Downtown Houston, TX (791,000 square feet; opened in 1947; 138 associates).

Paseo Colorado, Pasadena, CA (158,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 116 associates);

Belmont, MA (75,000 square feet; opened in 1978; 101 associates);

---

Downtown St. Paul Macy's closing will end a 50-year era

Honolulu: Downtown Macy's store closing this year

Houston: Macy's will soon make final sale in downtown building

Macy’s to Close “Underperforming” Pasadena Store

---

In today's retail environment, when a department store closes there arent too many other potential replacements for large retail spaces. CityTarget is about it and those seem to only be going in the most urban of downtowns with large close by populations. The rest of the large retailers are in little position to expand: Sears, Best Buy, etc. (Walmart, K-Mart and JC Penney dont do real urban stores). The high end department stores (Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus) clearly only go in wealthy areas near other department stores save for the unique circumstance of Dallas and its hometown Neiman Marcus.
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 7:25 PM
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On the bright side, Macy's is about to renovate their DTLA store into a flagship store, so it isn't all bad.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 7:59 PM
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I'm surprised the Belmont one stayed open this long. I remember back when it was a Filene's.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 8:01 PM
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Walmart is beginning to do real urban stores. This is under construction in downtown DC right now:

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Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 8:10 PM
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Re: Houston...

Quote:
[Bob] Eury, [executive director of the Houston Downtown Management District], said Macy's occupies just a portion of the 791,000-square-foot building. There have been recent discussions between the city, the property owner and the retailer about relocating Macy's into a smaller space within the city's core.

"Macy's has expressed very strong interest in downtown," Eury said. "They think it's a strong and viable market."

The retailer, however, was mum.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 8:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
Re: Houston...
Isnt that similar to Washington DC Macys, wasnt it (or its predecessor) in a large historic department store and like 25 years ago moved into its smaller current location? Sounds promising though for Downtown Houston to see it relocated into a new building better suited to current needs. The big problem I see is when a downtown gets down to only 1 major retailer left, people have little reason to visit it because it lacks the 'shopping destination' from many other stores which its competiting malls have.

Good to see Walmart build a real urban store, thats a fantastic store design. If i'm not mistaken though, this is the only real urban Walmart store in the country (I understand there a handful of "urban" Walmart stores that are every bit as suburban in form as those in the suburbs). DC is definitely in the lead nationally on these mixed use urban big box retail projects, I'm eager to visit many of these in person on a future visit to DC.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 8:59 PM
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I know it goes against the conventional wisdom here on SSP, but downtowns still have many challenges, and downtown retail is still generally in decline in the U.S. (yes, there are many notable exceptions).

Macys, BTW, is a very healthy company, with extremely robust sales, and is generally in expansion mode. This is a locational issue, not a corporate one.

And these new urban WalMarts are hardly replacements. First, they aren't conventional WalMarts. They're mini, limited-selection retail outlets, more like large drug stores than small department store. You would need 10 of these urban WalMarts to equal a conventional department stores. And WalMart absolutely sucks.
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Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Of the 5 Macy's closings nationwide, 4 are downtown stores...

Macy's:

Paseo Colorado, Pasadena, CA (158,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 116 associates);
There are two Macy's in close proximity and for me personally I can walk the 1.1 miles from one other with no problem. The Macy's on Lake isn't' really considered downtown Pasadena but both areas blends into the other so its really hard to tell if they are two separate districts. I can see why perhaps one would need to close down.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2013, 11:56 PM
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I kinda thought that Pittsburgh would have been on this list. Then again, I read the local news media from there and neither paper had a story abou that...

Still, that store has been downsizing over the years, and I wonder if it's only a matter of time...

I guess it's safe to say that outside New York and a select one or two other large "downtowns," big-box/urban retail and even shopping malls in general are no longer viable. The trend now is in specialty retail/neo-traditional towne centers for the most part.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 12:00 AM
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This has been a very dark week for downtown Houston, not only did we lose a ten story Macy's that has been here for 66 years, we lost a two story Books-a-Million the same week.

Makes me feel like it's April 1st and someone's about to tell me this is a joke.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 1:10 AM
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Not shocked that Houston lost its downtown Macy's. It was the most depressing Macy's I have ever been into. The outside looked like bomb shelter and the inside was equally depressing and empty. I wonder what will take its place or will the building just remain empty until it is demolished.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 1:12 AM
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Not surprised about Houston's Macy's either. Surprised it held on as long as it did. I'm sure it ill just sit there until they implode it. Books-a-million was no surprise either.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 1:13 AM
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There is an office tower planned for the site.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 2:10 AM
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damn, thought sure one of them might be downtown st louis. didnt realize there was one in downtown st paul.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 2:25 AM
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Sad news, but not surprising. what is surprising is the lack of Miketoronto editorial.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 2:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double L View Post
There is an office tower planned for the site.
amazing that it can make more economic sense to tear this structure down, then to build on one of downtown Houston's many surface lots.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 2:42 AM
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the honolulu one is sad. hono is actually really nice in the downtown/chinatown area, it's a place not often seen by tourists, but it feels like a real west coast city, seattle, ptl, sf, downtown la. definitely an area ripe for renewal, though i'm not sure what it would take - in this case, i think rail might actually help the mall and suburban retail cannibalization that's eroding the old core. tristes tropiques...
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 2:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Of the 5 Macy's closings nationwide, 4 are downtown stores...

Macy's:

Downtown Honolulu, HI (80,000 square feet; opened in 1850 (store must be late 1970s vintage); 91 associates);

Downtown St. Paul, MN (362,000 square feet; opened in 1963; 153 associates);

Downtown Houston, TX (791,000 square feet; opened in 1947; 138 associates).

Paseo Colorado, Pasadena, CA (158,000 square feet; opened in 1980; 116 associates);

Belmont, MA (75,000 square feet; opened in 1978; 101 associates);

---

Downtown St. Paul Macy's closing will end a 50-year era

Honolulu: Downtown Macy's store closing this year

Houston: Macy's will soon make final sale in downtown building

Macy’s to Close “Underperforming” Pasadena Store

---

In today's retail environment, when a department store closes there arent too many other potential replacements for large retail spaces. CityTarget is about it and those seem to only be going in the most urban of downtowns with large close by populations. The rest of the large retailers are in little position to expand: Sears, Best Buy, etc. (Walmart, K-Mart and JC Penney dont do real urban stores). The high end department stores (Saks, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus) clearly only go in wealthy areas near other department stores save for the unique circumstance of Dallas and its hometown Neiman Marcus.
It may be hard to fill with one tenant, but they could gut it and fill it with multiple retailers like Montreal did with their old hockey arena:

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=amc+t...02.44,,0,-18.7

It has movie theatres, a Future Shop, and other stores and restaurants. I don't see that too much with old American downtown dept. stores, but there's no reason they couldn't. Every attempt should be made to fill these buildings with other retail/restaurants/entertainment. If the trend in the United States really is towards smaller boutique stores, fill them with such stores. If these are not replaced with other retail uses, they become a huge net loss retail-wise for the neighbourhood, especially for downtowns that don't have much retail left to begin with. And ESPECIALLY if they are the only remaining downtown dept. store in that city.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdxstreetcar View Post
Isnt that similar to Washington DC Macys, wasnt it (or its predecessor) in a large historic department store and like 25 years ago moved into its smaller current location?
That's pretty much what happened here. Here's the original building (which still exists and still has stores on the lower floors):


by army arch on flickr


And here's the "new" version, built in 1985. The Macy's has no windows. The upper floors are offices.


by joe architect on flickr
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2013, 3:46 AM
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Macy's just sold their downtown Miami building last week as well but supposedly will remain in the building as a lease.
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