Macy's will reportedly announce on Thursday that it plans to close its downtown St. Paul store.
The Pioneer Press reports the move will draw the curtain on the downtown department store era in Minnesota's capital city after 130 years. To many, the news is not surprising. After all, department stores and downtown retail in general are both dwindling. But the passing of a downtown tradition - complete with its signature restaurant, the River Room - is stirring melancholy in St. Paul.
The Star Tribune cites unidentified sources in reporting that the store will close in late March. It will leave St. Paul with a square block of downtown real estate available. Macy's will have several stores left in the Twin Cities area.
The store, of course, was known for most of its life as Dayton's. Buyouts in recent years turned it into Marshall Field's, then Macy's. In 2001 the city loaned Dayton's more than $6 million to help cover renovation costs. The money did not have to be repaid if the store stayed open through 2012. The closing of that 10-year window fueled expectations of this week's impending announcement.