Downtown alderman ready to work with Macy’s on flagship store

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Downtown Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) said he “misses Marshall Field’s” as much as any shopper. But he’s open to whatever Macy’s wants and needs to do to repurpose its flagship State Street store.

Reilly said he has not yet been approached by Macy’s, but he stands ready to review their new ideas for any unused space at 111. N. State.

“They’re on an important commercial corridor in the heart of the city. I want them to be successful. And sometimes, you need to be flexible and change the plan,” Reilly said.

“It’s a prime retail destination. If they’re looking to repurpose the space and maybe chop it up for more retail opportunity, I think that’s a great idea,” he said.

What about the possibility of turning underutilized top floors of the building into residential space to take advantage of the residential boom in the downtown area?

“I’m open to whatever they’d like to discuss for the property. I do think, though, that it really is a prime retail location and, at least at-grade, should remain as such,” Reilly said.

Macy’s announced this week that it has hired Tishman Speyer to explore ideas to redevelop four of the retail chain’s flagship stores, including the State Street behemoth that once housed a Chicago treasurer: Marshall Field’s.

Whatever the company decides to do with “underutilized portions” of the State Street store, Macy’s insisted that it intends to maintain a “robust retail store presence” on State Street.

“It’s a large space and Macy’s is a resilient brand. It may be that they’re just having to reposition how they present that retail. If that’s the case, I’m certainly open to it. We want all of our major retailers to be successful downtown. If that means having to change course, we’re here to try and help,” Reilly said.

To many shoppers, the State Street store has been dying a slow death ever since the Marshall Field’s name was removed.

“I miss Marshall Field’s, too. A lot of people would be thrilled if they decided to bring back a Marshall Field’s brand. But ultimately, that’s up to Macy’s,” Reilly said.

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