Could real estate development be any harder than retail these days?
Macy’s is about to find out.
Macy’s is planning to tack on 1.5 million square feet of office space to its famous Herald Square location in Midtown Manhattan. But the troubled retailer, which recently announced a restructuring plan, could be facing an uphill battle, Bloomberg reported.
That’s because the proposed 800-foot-tall office tower would need a rezoning — a notoriously complex, often political process that can stall or stop the best laid plans.
“It could take years to get it to final conclusion,” City Council member Keith Powers told Bloomberg.
Plans for the project came to light in April 2019, when Bloomberg reported that the 161-year-old department store had held talks about the office tower with New York City officials.
Macy’s, which like many department-store chains has been struggling with declining sales, earlier this month said it plans to shut 125 of its weakest stores — a fifth of its portfolio — and slash 2,000 jobs. The retailer also said it would test a new strategy of having smaller stores in strip malls.
These moves, coupled with its proposed office skyscraper, are expected to lead to $1.5 billion in savings a year through 2022. [Bloomberg] — Mary Diduch