Downtown St. Paul Macy's closing will end a 50-year era

  • Article by: KEVIN DUCHSCHERE and JANET MOORE , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: January 3, 2013 - 5:45 AM

Downtown store that was Dayton's, then Marshall Fields, will shut this spring.

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jload027Jan. 2, 13 4:13 PM

Horrible news for this Saint Paul shopper! I am seriously bummed. So much history and also St. Paul is starting to turn around and this is not going to impact it well unless someone else good comes into that space.

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stevee952Jan. 2, 13 4:39 PM

Go back to the lib mayor Scheibel who should have given the keys to the city to West Publishing, and instead did nothing as they moved to Eagan. Thousands of downtown jobs lost by that fool who had no business sense whatsoever. The trickle effect of that move alone cost downtown business dearly.

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FrankLJan. 2, 13 5:15 PM

Probably not that big a deal. These stores are dinosaurs, they long ago got rid of most of their departments. Now they are essentially a woman's clothing store with cosmetics and wedding gifts. Even the men's dept is mainly for show. Years ago, they used to be an essential store for any town with departments such as sporting goods, toys, appliances, electronics, furniture, auto repair, etc.

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CountChoculaJan. 2, 13 5:43 PM

No downtown supporter likes to see this, but it has been a foregone conclusion for years. As with Ford in Highland Park, this was eventually going to happen. It was just a matter of when. Let's get this over with and move on. This 1960s-era big box building is an eyesore. Let's get a non-suburban style mixed-use building on that site with streetfront shops, as downtown retail should be. Smaller-scale retail will come organically with more downtown residents. Don't even *think* about another inward-oriented mall concept. Much as Mpls. did with the Gateway district, St. Paul razed much of its CBD in the 1960s and is still suffering the effects today. Some of the most ill-conceived and destructive things ever done to cities were in the name of 1960s "urban renewal," which clear cut acres of historic buildings in order to make cities look more suburban. The planners from that era should've been locked up for life.

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twincitizen1Jan. 2, 13 6:10 PM

CountChocula - you said it all. Amen. Downtown St. Paul is doing great on its own and doesn't need Macy's to be a great place to live and work. The addition of LRT, Union Depot, Lund's, Saints baseball, and a new park will make the area more desirable than ever. The revitalization of this site begins with the building being torn down and something more urban and outwardly facing built in its place. I really hope the city doesn't throw millions of subsidies at it to attract a JCPenny or similar business to occupy the same building. As much as downtown could use a Target...please don't let it be in the existing Macy's building.

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lorentjdJan. 2, 13 7:12 PM

stevee952 said: "Go back to the lib mayor Scheibel who should have given the keys to the city to West Publishing, and instead did nothing as they moved to Eagan. Thousands of downtown jobs lost by that fool who had no business sense whatsoever. The trickle effect of that move alone cost downtown business dearly." That is right on target. If one or two of the remaining big private-sector employers (Ecolab, St. Paul Companies, or Lawson) were to ever leave downtown, the retail sector would officially and completely die in St. Paul. And, I can't even imagine another company that employs three hundred or more people ever opening shop in downtown St. Paul. Much easier to do so in the suburbs (land is cheaper and the governments are much more business-friendly than St. Paul is).

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dtmonkeyboyJan. 2, 13 7:23 PM

Edina, the Mecca for shopping for years, has majorly suffered with big vacancies at Southdale among other sites. A lot of retail has moved online and that trend will continue.

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hittodeadJan. 2, 13 7:39 PM

This announcement will surely prompt lots of hand-wringing and nostalgic laments about Dayton's and the old downtown department stores, but it's actually a good thing for St. Paul. That store was a ghost ship for years; now business can work with city govt to create something in an important downtown block that truly has value for those who live, work, and visit there.

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leac0010Jan. 2, 13 7:50 PM

The City of Saint Paul is heavy handed with city planners and over regulation. They must think in a more businesslike mind if they want to bring work and people to Saint Paul. Remember the potential riverfront development? Saint Paul killed it after the developer spent thousands to please them. With money to spend I won't risk it in Saint Paul.

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alansonJan. 2, 13 8:28 PM

Hindsight is 20/20. The current leadership of St. Paul is curiously lacking in vision for the future.

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