Macy’s Closing Stores, Looking for CRE Partners


It was a busy week for Macy’s, even if retail sales for the department store giant were down.

The Cincinnati-based retailer announced that poor sales figures put stores nationwide on the chopping block. Macy’s is also exploring joint ventures or partnerships for its flagship holdings in San Francisco, Chicago, Minneapolis and Herald Square in Manhattan.

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Starboard Value, a major shareholder in Macy’s, sent a letter today to the company, suggesting it to tap into its otherwise unused real estate potential. The retailer’s holdings, the investment advisor said, could be worth as much as $21 billion.

The Macy’s hoopla began last week when it announced expenses would be reduced by $400 million, by closing 36 stores and laying off 4,000 people.

Macy’s also announced Tishman Speyer would no longer be advising the company on its real estate, because the global developer is considering becoming a partner in the Macy’s flagship stores. It would be the latest development in the relationship between the two companies; Macy’s named Tishman Speyer the developer of its Downtown Brooklyn location at 422 Fulton Street last summer.

Following this, Crown Acquisitions signed a 99-year ground lease at 136-50 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing, Queens where Macy’s currently has a store. While a Macy’s spokesman told The Wall Street Journal the company was there to stay in the meantime, some real estate vets told the paper that new stores could be brought in.