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.
“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.”
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.