Light­foot says Macy’s wants out of Wa­ter Tower Place

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY DAVID ROEDER, BUSI­NESS & LA­BOR RE­PORTER droeder@suntimes.com | @Roed­erDavid

Macy’s is likely to leave Wa­ter Tower Place but not be­cause of loot­ing, Mayor Lori Light­foot said Fri­day.

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence about down­town safety is­sues, Light­foot was asked about a re­port in Crain’s Chicago Busi­ness that the re­tailer is at­tempt­ing to exit or down­size its space at the pioneer­ing ver­ti­cal mall along the Mag­nif­i­cent Mile. Wa­ter Tower Place has been dam­aged in loot­ing sprees down­town.

“My un­der­stand­ing is that Macy’s no­ti­fied the prop­erty own­ers at Wa­ter Tower in Fe­bru­ary that they prob­a­bly were not go­ing to re­new their lease,” Light­foot said. She said Macy’s de­ci­sion is tied to its own prob­lems in the re­tail in­dus­try and that “false re­port­ing” linked the pos­si­ble clo­sure to the loot­ing.

The Crain’s story, how­ever, made no such con­nec­tion and quoted a source say­ing any de­ci­sion is not a re­ac­tion to the loot­ing.

Macy’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives did not re­turn sev­eral calls and emails seek­ing com­ment. Go­ing back to the Mar­shall Field’s name, the store has an­chored Wa­ter Tower Place since it opened in 1975.

The mall’s owner, Brook­field Prop­erty Part­ners, also could not be reached. It’s pos­si­ble Macy’s could be threat­en­ing to leave as lever­age for a bet­ter deal from the land­lord.

Asked about the sit­u­a­tion, Ald. Brian Hop­kins (2nd) said he knew Macy’s was in lease re­newal talks but was un­aware of a po­ten­tial shut­down. While the store sus­tained loot­ing dam­age, he said Macy’s “has been ac­tively work­ing on the space to get ready to re­open. The progress they have made is sub­stan­tial.”

Wa­ter Tower Place is within Hop­kins’ ward.

SUN-TIMES FILE PHOTO

Wa­ter Tower Place in 2018.

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