Downtown Pittsburgh Losing Its Last Flagship Department Store
A Philadelphia developer has big plans for the 13-story Macy's department store building.
thumbnail photo by bill badzo via flickr creative commons
photo via flickr creative commons
The home of the famous Kaufmann’s clock in downtown Pittsburgh is closing.
Cincinnati, Ohio-based Macy’s announced Monday it was closing its downtown store at 400 Fifth Ave. There has been a department store at that location for 125 years.
Macy’s has sold the building to Philadelphia-base Core Realty, which is planning to convert the 13 floors into apartments and a hotel.
"For the past four years, Macy's has been investigating the best possible use for this property, especially given the large amount of unproductive and unused space on the upper floors," said Jeff Kantor, Macy's chief stores officer, in a statement.
"More recently we decided to make the entire building available to Core so it could evolve its plans into a more holistic project. We believe this will be an outstanding addition to the downtown Pittsburgh community in an important location in the heart of the city'" he said.
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, in a statement, admitted the announcement "hurt." “This is a sad day for Pittsburgh, and for those who have spent their lives working, shopping and making memories here," Peduto said. "While I wish we would have had the opportunity to save the store, I care most about the employees who have dedicated themselves to this store over many decades, and have made it their life's work. I am grateful that Macy’s is offering new job possibilities to its longtime employees, and we are working with Macy's and the new developer to preserve the store icons Pittsburgh holds dear, from the Kaufmann’s clock to the Tic Toc diner, for future generations of Pittsburghers."
A final Macy’s clearance sale will begin July 20 and is expected to last until early September.
“Macy’s — and Kaufmann’s before us — have served the downtown Pittsburgh community at this location since 1887, and we deeply appreciate the relationship we have built with generations of Pittburghers, including our customers, associates, community leaders and elected officials,” Kantor said. “While we will not operate a downtown store going forward, Macy’s remains committed to our customers and associates at 13 other local stores in southwestern Pennsylvania as well as on macys.com.”
Two hundred employees work at the Macy’s downtown location. The company indicated some may move to positions in other Macy’s stores in the Pittsburgh area.