Macy’s adds $235M infrastructure upgrade to Herald Square tower plan

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Macy’s has promised to spend $235 million on Herald Square infrastructure
upgrades as part of a plan to build a new office tower on top of its flagship
store.

The upgrades would turn the area into a “modern,
pedestrian-friendly urban space with upgraded subway access, improved transit
connections and ADA-accessible elevators,” said the company in a press release
issued this afternoon.

To achieve these upgrades, Macy’s said it will leverage its
underlying Herald Square real estate to build a commercial office tower above
its flagship store.

All told, the development could 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, said the retailer.

Renderings via FXcollaborative

“Macy’s Herald Square is one of New York City’s most iconic
institutions, and, as we plan for the future, we are doubling down on our
commitment to New York by reinvesting in our flagship location while committing
$235 million in private investment to upgrade the Herald Square neighborhood
through our tower project,” said Jeff Gennette, Chairman and Chief Executive
Officer of Macy’s, Inc.

 “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.”

Macy’s first presented its tower plan for the 100-year-old
store to investors just ahead of the COVID outbreak.

In its latest announcement, the company said the project
would upgrade and make temporary plaza improvements permanent, dedicate areas
for pedestrians that address accessibility and ADA-specific issues, and ease
overcrowding and congestion to allow for a safer, more inviting open space.
Macy’s will work closely with local officials, Manhattan Community Board 5, the
34th Street Partnership and other community stakeholders on final designs.
Currently, the plan would:

Macy’s Herald Square location would remain open throughout the project’s timeline, which will go through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) process while the company works with the community and local leaders. It has also engaged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and other stakeholders to ensure the various public realm investments will be appropriate to the community and blend with neighboring transit upgrades.

Already the plan has garnered support from the local
business and building community.

“Macy’s on 34th Street is a cornerstone of Herald Square and
has been a vital leader in our push for the neighborhood to realize its full
potential for pedestrians, transit users and visitors alike,” said Dan
Biederman, President of the 34th Street Partnership. “Macy’s commitment of $235
million to upgrade the public realm reflects our vision for the area and is a
bold and timely vote of confidence in the future of Herald Square, our City,
and Macy’s ongoing presence here.”

The Association for a Better New York said the
infrastructure improvements would “make the Herald Square experience more
enjoyable for locals and tourists alike,” and the Retail Council of New York
State called the announcement “a resounding vote of confidence for Manhattan.”

Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the New York
Building Congress, said, “The building industry will play a vital role in New
York City’s economic recovery, and Macy’s plan will not only ensure the
longevity of its iconic Herald Square store, but will vastly improve the
streetscape of a pedestrian-heavy district while creating thousands of
well-paying construction jobs.

“Now is the time to invest in our future and keep New York
City as the best place in the world to live, work and shop.”

The plan includes upgraded connections to public
transportation and substantial improvements to the Herald Square Subway Station;
new transit entrances to the Herald Square Subway Station near Penn Station; enhanced
entry to Herald Square Subway Station at Greeley Square and; addition of ADA-accessible
elevators at 7th Avenue & 34th Street and 35th Street & Broadway to the
subway station while creating additional pedestrian space on the northern edge
of Penn Station

 Macy’s at Herald
Square opened its doors in 1902, quickly growing into one million square feet
of retail space with its 1924 expansion from Broadway to Seventh Avenue along
34th Street. The store expanded again in 1931 when it annexed the Seventh
Avenue building.

The company said the design of the new building is still
being developed but “it will be a contextually appropriate addition to the
neighborhood and add complementary density to the transit-oriented development
district.”

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