Reporting Chris Simon
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Beleaguered Macy’s customers gathered outside the Wabasha and 6th street entrance to the downtown St. Paul location, not quite sure when the store was going to close.
Some just wanted another peek inside. The Macy’s building itself, a cream colored monument to 1960s kitsch, takes up a city block worth of space in downtown and has been a shopping mecca for half a century, surviving the onslaught of suburban malls, urban renewal and even Y2K only to succumb to modern economic realities.
Guadalupe Velasquez, a 45-year St. Paul resident, is sad to see it go.
“It’s a sad situation, believe me. I remember when it was Dayton’s,” she said. “It’s always been a nice store and a big part of St. Paul, and soon it will be gone.”
Many Macy’s customers like Velasquez are disappointed the store will be closing its doors in March, but others like Karen, who works at the nearby Palace movie theatre, are worried about the negative effects on downtown traffic.
“It is bad news because it brings a lot more business to downtown. We kind of thrive on people walking after shopping and going, ‘Oh, let’s go see a movie!,’” she said.
Martin, another shopper, says he won’t miss Macy’s because it’s too expensive.
“It’s always been a little out of my price range,” he said.
The city of St. Paul is trying to put a positive spin on the bad news with Mayor Chris Coleman’s office announcing the site will be one of four downtown light rail stops and will spur more modern development without asbestos.
There is some good news for shoppers, though. The store’s final clearance sale begins Monday, Jan. 7.