Business

Macy’s to build office tower on Herald Square building

Macy's to build office tower on Herald Square building

Macy’s advanced its plan to build a giant office tower atop its Herald Square flagship store on Monday, announcing that it would spend $235 million to upgrade transit infrastructure at the site and to create other public amenities.

Macy’s, Inc., CEO Jeff Gennette said, “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.”

The tower plan was announced in February 2020 but back-burnered due to the pandemic. However, no mention was made at the time about the public-benefit upgrades.

They are meant to ease the project’s way through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, the city’s often contentious approval process. The tower needs City Hall’s green light for a zoning change for its size and height — 1 .5 million square feet of office space and between 750 and 900 feet tall, according to plans shown earlier.

It’s a bold stroke of faith in the future of Manhattan’s office market, where vacancy has reached a historic high of over 16 percent.

A rendering of the outside of Macy's flagship store in Herald's Square in Manhattan.
A rendering of the outside of Macy’s flagship store in Herald’s Square in Manhattan.

The public-improvement sweetener appears inspired by recent rezoning of East Midtown, where developers can put up larger buildings than previously in exchange for significant neighborhood upgrades.

The public benefits package would transform the Herald Square and Broadway plaza into a car-free pedestrian zone; ease pedestrian access at Broadway and 34th Street and create new entrances to the Herald Square subway station; and add a new gateway entrance to the station at Greeley Square.

A rendering of the proposed changes to Herald's Square.
A rendering of the proposed changes to Herald’s Square.

The famous flagship store would remain open during construction, Macy’s said. The tower would generate $269 million annually in new tax revenue, support 16,290 jobs and spark $4.29 billion in annual economic output, according to the company.

However, the announcement left several important questions unanswered.

It was not stated whether “The World’s Largest Store” would remain the same size it is now — or shrink as the downtown Brooklyn Macy’s did from eight floors to four as part of another office tower development project.

Macy’s didn’t say how soon its plan would be officially certified into ULURP. Nor did it name a development partner to construct the tower.

About the author

Erin Fox

From television to the internet platform, Erin switched her journey in digital media with News Brig. She served as a journalist for popular news channels and currently contributes his experience for News Brig by writing about the tech domain.

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