Local infrastructure improvements and tall towers seem to go hand in hand these days. Offering public realm investments has become a handy passkey for developers to access the necessary support of locals and city officials for conspicuous construction.
In step, Macy’s is currently seeking city approval to build a 700 to 900-foot tower with 1.5 million square feet of office space (first announced in 2020) atop its more than century-old flagship store, and with that, the company announced today that it would commit $235 million to upgrade the neighborhood around Herald Square Plaza into a more pedestrian-friendly space.
These upgrades would include new transit entrances to the Herald Square subway station near Penn Station; enhanced entry to the Herald Square subway station at Greeley Square; the addition of ADA-accessible subway elevators at 7th Avenue & 34th Street and 35th Street & Broadway; and the transformation of Herald Square and Broadway Plaza into car-free, pedestrian-friendly urban spaces.
According to a press release, the project is expected to generate $269 million in annual tax revenue for the city and $4.29 billion in economic output each year.
The company adds it will keep its store open throughout the construction process.
“Macy’s Herald Square is one of New York City’s most iconic institutions, and, as we plan for the future, 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 through our tower project,” said Jeff Gennette, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Macy’s, Inc.
“We are proud to make this leadership investment in New York’s recovery and are excited to welcome visitors back to Herald Square not only today, but for generations to come.”
The project comes at an ideal time. Currently, state officials are pushing hard on plans to revamp a large swath of area around Penn Station, just one block west of Macy's, with a "new" Penn Station and 10 very tall towers.
Macy’s proposal will soon enter the city's formal review process (ULURP). In the meantime, the company says it will continue to engage with the community, local leaders, and the MTA to ensure its public investments are in line with local needs and function well with other neighboring transit upgrades.
- Midtown (Urbanize NYC)