Macy’s Unveils Expanded Vison for 900-Foot Skyscraper and Public Plaza at Herald Square Flagship Store

Rendering of Macy's New York City flagship store - FXCollaborativeRendering of Macy's New York City flagship store - FXCollaborative

Herald Square may soon be home to a new 900-foot-tall skyscraper perched atop Macy’s historic Herald Square flagship store. In addition to the high-rise tower, the retailer this week announced that the proposed scope of work includes a $235 million investment in the surrounding neighborhood.

The investment will fund upgrades to subway beneath Herald Square including upgraded access points, improved ADA-accessible elevators, and modernization of the existing outdoor public plaza. According to the retailer, the project is expected to generate $269 million annually in new tax revenues for New York City and spark $4.29 billion in annual economic output.

Plans for the skyscraper addition were announced in February 2020. Proposals include the construction of a 1.5-million-square-foot structure, primarily comprising office space, and a publicly accessible “Sky Lobby” with views of the surrounding neighborhood.

FXCollaborative is credited as architect of record.

Renderings of outdoor plaza at Macy's New York City flagship store - FXCollaborative

Renderings of outdoor plaza at Macy’s New York City flagship store – FXCollaborative

“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.”

Specific upgrades to the transit system include new entrances at Broadway and 34th Street leading into Penn Station, enhanced access points into the Herald Square station at 34th Street and at Greeley Square, as well as ADA-accessible elevators at Seventh Avenue, 35th Street, 34th Street, and Broadway.

Temporary components of the store’s existing pedestrian plaza along Broadway would be made permanent and reoriented to improve foot traffic and relieve congestion.

“Macy’s on 34th Street is a cornerstone of Herald Square and has been a vital leader in our push for the neighborhood to realize its full potential for pedestrians, transit users, and visitors alike,” said Dan Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership. “Macy’s commitment of $235 million to upgrade the public realm reflects our vision for the area and is a bold and timely vote of confidence in the future of Herald Square, our city, and Macy’s ongoing presence here.”

Lower level rendering of Macy's New York City flagship store - FXCollaborative

Lower level rendering of Macy’s New York City flagship store – FXCollaborative

Before the project can break ground, the team will need to be granted several zoning text amendments and eventually complete the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure process. To facilitate approvals, Macy’s, FXCollaborative, and other members of the project team are working closely with local officials, Manhattan Community Board 5, the 34th Street Partnership, and other community stakeholders on final designs. The company has also engaged the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to ensure the proposed transit investments remain appropriate.

At this phase of development, it is unclear when the project might break ground or be completed. When work begins, Macy’s Herald Square will remain open throughout all phases of construction.

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12 Comments on "Macy’s Unveils Expanded Vison for 900-Foot Skyscraper and Public Plaza at Herald Square Flagship Store"

  1. David in Bushwick | May 12, 2021 at 9:52 am | Reply

    It’s up to Macy’s to decide if they can lease all that new office space, but we need to get big business to start doing more than add a new entrance or elevator to existing subway stations. The station interiors themselves need to get a thoughtful and durable interior facelift. Keeping them spotless should also be a priority. Anyone who has experienced other subway systems realize how New Yorkers are willing to just shrug off how nasty our subway stations truly are.

  2. We need to bring back that old ‘Macy’s / Gimbels rivalry’, then things will really get done.

    • and lunch at B Altman’s where you actually have a conversation and not look into your phone……but until then, the prospects of that tower are more architecturally promising than a few others proposed for that neighborhood….

  3. Cheesemaster200 | May 12, 2021 at 1:11 pm | Reply

    The temporary nature of pedestrian spaces in New York has always been a major annoyance. In my opinion, Broadway from Herald Square to the Times Square pedestrian plaza should be made fully pedestrianized similar to Times Square. Many would argue that this should be done from Union Square to Columbus Circle. I am not opposed to that, but one step at a time.

    The problem is that the City treats pedestrianization as a temporary condition. Pedestrianization is a bunch of portable planters and NYPD concrete blocks blocking travel over the existing road. Even the pedestrianization of Central Park (from five years ago) is limited to wood police barriers at the entrances to the east and west drive. I honestly feel that suburbanites in DoT see this as a temporary solution to misguided policy that can easily be reversed once a more car friendly administration is voted in.

    If Macy’s is willing to pay for these upgrades and all they want is a new tower on their building then I say let them go for it.

    • Shane C Keena | May 13, 2021 at 12:48 pm | Reply

      One could argue any place along broadway could be pedestrianized, but I think the best option for permanent pedestrianization would be to build a high line-style chain of parks from Union Square to Columbus Circle. I mean, that stretch of broadway could use an elevated greenway, plus it’s already gentrified and even commercialized, so new green space shouldn’t raise prices by very much at all in that location. Let the cars flow through broadway like they did before, just under the new esplanade. At any of the bow ties, build an aesthetically-pleasing bridge between each of the segments.

      Between Madison Square and Union Square, call that the Madison-Union Park.
      Between Herald Square and Madison Square, call that the Herald-Madison Park.
      Between Times Square and Herald Square, call that the Times-Herald Park.
      Between Columbus Circle and Times Square, call that the Columbus-Times Park.

  4. This project is really good. A very handsome looking tower and a nice public space are two best friends. I sure hope it comes to reality.

    • Dashawn Bethea | May 12, 2021 at 9:48 pm | Reply

      I can’t wait to see it all completed & opened to the public! The pics of how it will look are beautiful! I’m so excited! Manhattan,NYC my home is the greatest city in the world!

  5. Shane C Keena | May 13, 2021 at 12:58 pm | Reply

    I will say though that looking at the whole of the Manhattan skyline it really seems that there will be three areas, that if developed, will really start to engulf the Empire State building. These are these areas:

    – The Grand Central-UN Headquarters Area, with One Vanderbilt, 175 Park Avenue, and whatever happens at Solow’s Con-Ed site being what will flesh that area out with new commercial tenants and hotels;
    – The Lower East Side-Downtown Brooklyn area, with Two Bridges supporting the kinds of wealthy tenants that want the light, views and air again because their old building’s been blocked by Billionaires’ Row. They also want some more, and more affordable space;
    – The Hudson Yards-Penn Station area, with Hudson Yards, Manhattan West, 15 Penn, and whatever happens to pop up around that area to make more of a mixed-use space with a definitive industrial flair. Herald Square and this new Macy’s tower is part of this area. Why do you think they chose not to show the angle looking over at the ESB?

    Each of these places will be built out over the next 10 years or so, and the Empire State building will need to be replaced in the capacity of Art-Deco Icon if Manhattan is going to have any kind of signature building. What really needs to happen is the MetLife North building needs to be completed to its original planned height of around 1,500 feet. Then tack on a 200-foot crown and a 300-foot spire to push that height above 2-k feet. That would allow the Empire State Building to ride off into the sunset, take the place the Chrysler building has now, while still having the knowledge that you have a major, art-deco landmark that can inspire the next few generations of New Yorkers.

  6. Nelly Zambrano | May 13, 2021 at 3:06 pm | Reply

    Wow, nice

  7. Good news
    That part of town is a dump and needs a complete overhaul

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