PITTSBURGH (KDKA) –The Macy’s store in downtown Pittsburgh is going to close.
Macy’s announced this morning the entire building has been sold to a Philadelphia company, which plans to redevelop it.
About 170 Macy’s employees will be affected, but some may move to other stores in the region.
Macy’s took over the building when it acquired Kaufmann’s department store in 2005.
A final clearance sale is expected to begin next Monday and run through early September.
“This is a sad day for Pittsburgh, and for those who have spent their lives working, shopping and making memories here. Whether known as Macy’s or Kaufmann’s this store has been part of the fabric of our city for more than a century and losing it hurts, even as we remain hopeful about the site’s future,” Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement.
Complete plans have not been announced for what will become of the landmark building.
“We have already begun working with CORE, the new owners of this historic location, to ensure the site’s rebirth as part of the evolving Smithfield Street corridor, and the ongoing residential, hotel and commercial growth of all of Downtown,” Peduto said.
The new owner, CORE Realty in Philadelphia, has plans to develop a hotel on the top floors, apartments below, and according to Randy Mineo, an executive VP at Core, the bottom two floors will be retail. He says it won’t be a large-scale department store, but instead, smaller stores he describes as “high quality.”
“High-quality tenants would be the stores that your millennials are shopping at today, throughout the country,” said Mineo. “Stores that they find to be interesting.”
He says some of the stores could be new the Pittsburgh market. He also says they’ll all have sidewalk entrances rather than an interior arcade.
Mineo also told KDKA’s David Highfield that as long as the company owns the building, the old clock – often referred to as the “Kaufmann’s clock” – will remain.
He also says they’ll explore the possibility of whether the Tic Toc Café can remain open in some form.
“To me this is the end of an era,” said Audrey Guskey, Ph.D., a marketing professor at Duquesne University.
She says a major city without a big department store downtown sends a bad signal, and makes it even more challenging to attract another one to Downtown Pittsburgh.
“A Target or a Bloomindale’s might be an option, but once again, the signal to retailers is that if Macy’s is leaving, we don’t want to stay here,” said Guskey. “We don’t want to come in here because this is not really a successful region.”