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It's Official: Macy's State Street Flagship To Undergo Big Downscaling

By Stephen Gossett in News on May 1, 2017 4:40PM

Getty Images / Photo: Xinhua News Agency

The long-rumored downscaling of the Macy’s on State St.—and former home of the beloved late Chicago retailer Marshall Field’s—is official. Mirroring similar moves at other locations and reflecting declining sales overall, Macy’s will sell off the upper floors of its downtown location.

Floors eight through 14 will be listed for sale to potential purchasers, Macy’s spokesperson Andrea Schwartz confirmed over the weekend. The looming sale will not however affect the Walnut Room—the iconic restaurant, which dates back to 1907, famed for its massive, 45-foot-tall Christmas tree and one of the last remnants of the old Marshall Field’s days.

Schwartz told Chicagoist in a statement:

"As we have reported, Macy’s is continuing to execute on our real estate strategy that is focused on creating value through monetization and, in some cases, redevelopment of our assets. We have been working on a plan for a downsized Macy’s on State Street store, planning to sell floors 8-14 which we expect will result in a more vibrant and more productive store.

Of course, we will continue to uphold the cherished tradition of the famed Walnut Room as well as maximize our selling floors, from the lower level to 7. Furniture, rugs and mattresses will remain a part of the store assortment and eventually will be relocated."

According to the Tribune, the sale of that much retail space—700,000 square feet—could net the cash-strapped company some $130 million.

Speculation about selling off Macy's upper floors ramped up in late February, when CFO Karen Hoguet floated a plan on an earnings call, Crain's reported.

Macy's announced plans in January to close 68 stores, including three in Illinois. In 2015, the company sold some of the top floors from its Seattle location—space that was set to be transformed into offices. Schwartz said the company is not commenting on buyers it might be considering.

Could be a good location to launch a new retail enterprise. Call it Farshall Mield's.