As New York City prepares to reopen, Macy’s has announced plans to revive the area surrounding its Herald Square flagship store.
On Monday, the retailer unveiled a $235 million development project that would enhance the Herald Square plaza into a more “pedestrian-friendly urban space.”
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To make this vision a reality, Macy’s is planning to create a more seamless transit infrastructure. Among the key parts of the plan: Upgrading connections to public transportation, creating new transit entrances to the Herald Square Subway Station and adding ADA-accessible elevators at 7th Avenue and 34th Street and 35th Street and Broadway.
The improved transit system will allow Macy’s to construct a “car-free” space at Herald Square and Broadway Plaza that will promote a space for visitors to gather.
Macy’s plan will not only improve the neighborhood, but will also generate additional economic activity, the retailer explained, as the project is expected to generate $269 million annually in tax revenue for New York City. The project will also support 16,290 annual jobs and spark $4.29 billion in annual economic output, according to Macy’s.
Macy’s will also be building a commercial office tower above its flagship store to further facilitate the development project. As the upgrades take place, Macy’s will remain open to the public.
Of the news, Jeff Gennette, chairman and chief executive officer of Macy’s, Inc. said in a statement: “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.”
“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,” Gennette added.
Macy’s big plans come as New York is preparing for a revival this summer. Earlier this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo revealed reopening plans for the Big Apple.
Cuomo’s guidelines came after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in late April that New York City will be “fully” open on July 1. Cuomo explained in a series of updates that beginning on May 15, gyms, fitness centers outside of New York City can increase capacity from 33% to 50%. That same day, offices can increase capacity from 50% to 75%. Additionally, casinos and gaming facilities will be allowed to increase capacity limits from 25% to 50%.
On May 19, large-scale outdoor event venues can increase capacity from 20% to 33%.
While COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, Cuomo, however, asserted that wearing masks and practicing social distancing is still crucial in the fight to slow the spread of the virus.
“We are increasing the capacity limits throughout several industries, including gyms outside of New York City, casinos, offices and large-scale outdoor event venues. This is all great news, but we are not out of the woods yet. Washing hands, wearing masks and staying socially distanced are critical tools each of us can use to slow the spread as we continue our efforts to defeat COVID once and for all,” Cuomo explained.
De Blasio echoed similar sentiments, expressing: “What we can say with assurance now is we’re giving COVID-19 no room to run in New York City now… vaccinations are winning this race. COVID-19 is plummeting. We now have the confidence that we can pull all these pieces together and get life back in many ways to where it was where people can enjoy an amazing summer. This is going to be the summer of New York City.”