Macy's has been approved to receive $7 million in New Markets Tax Credits to help pay for reducing its downtown department store from 400,000 sf on six floors to 125,000 sf on three floors. The downsized store would then be consistent in size with the chain's other stores throughout the country.
Under the May Co.'s ownership, the store (then known as Famous-Barr) once occupied eight floors of the Railway Exchange Building. While having a store that large would be nice, the retail business has undergone a sea change in recent years, and such a store is no longer viable. And, this investment is an early indicator that Macy's plans to keep the downtown store open.
Hopefully, the store's restaurants will be retained, along with unique, retro features, such as the first floor candy counter, that give the store its charm. The downtown Macy's could also stand to upgrade its merchandise selection, utilize more of its display windows and continue to organize special events to lure shoppers.