Macy's in downtown Minneapolis rumored to close in 2017

- Macy’s on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis will likely close for good next year, according to a report from Twin Cities Business.

Macy’s Inc. has already informed city officials of its plans to close the store in early 2017, but a public announcement is not expected until after the holiday shopping season, the report says.

The department store first opened on Nicollet Avenue in the early 1900s as Dayton’s. It was rebranded as Marshall Fields in 2001 before changing to Macy’s in 2006.

While there's still no official word whether Macy's will close its flagship store in downtown Minneapolis next year, it seems like everyone has their own ideas about what could replace it.

"It's a 100-year-old building. It's got high ceilings. It would adapt itself to a lot of other uses," Commercial Real Estate Broker James Vos said.

Vos says in other cities where Macy's has sold downtown stores like Portland and Pittsburg, the buildings have been turned into a mix of stores and housing, but lofts or condos could pose a challenge in Minneapolis with such a large building.

"Apartments may not be your first choice. You have a lot of space that is a long way from natural light. So we need to think of what amenities could be in the middle," Vos said.

While it may seem like shopping in the heart of downtown is a dying art, Vos says companies are finding creative ways to use former retail space to take advantage of the 200,000 people who work and live downtown.

"I think there is demand for those boutique places that have experiences that are unique uncommon in other places. What makes Minneapolis Minneapolis? Let's put those kinds of places in the middle of our downtown," Vos said.

Just like how Dayton's and Macy's replaced the church that was originally at that corner, Vos says something else could last there for another century.

"I'll be sad to lose Macy's, Dayton's. The retail experience has been a part of our downtown fabric for a long time, but we also have such a strong downtown, vibrant downtown. I think we can withstand it," Vos said.

Vos also said with Nicollet mall under construction for the next six to 12 months, now is the perfect time to re-imagine what this building could be.

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