ST. PAUL, Minn. - As Candyland Owner Brenda Lamb looked out her window and across Wabasha Street, she sighed. "It's changed a couple times. They haven't done that much the last couple years," she said, glancing at the soon to be vacant Macy's store.
In a statement, Macy's corporate announced the "underperforming" store, along with several others throughout the country, will be closing in early spring. 150 associates will be affected. Brenda Lamb says the closing could present a business opportunity for the area.
"Well I hope it's for the better. Macy's took over for Marshall Fields and we didn't see much happening. So possibly they'll (the city) bring in something more family-oriented and medium-priced for Downtown St. Paul," Lamb explained.
KARE 11 sought reaction from St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, whose office is a couple blocks from Macy's. "I won't say it was the most shocking news that I ever heard," he said. Coleman wouldn't speculate on what could fill the space, but says it'll be an attractive site. Light Rail will stop on its doorstep and bring 40,000 passengers past its doors every day starting in the spring of 2014.
"It's a significant site. It's an important site but that all is why it's such a great opportunity for someone to come in and do something different with it," the Mayor remarked. As for the big building in the heart of downtown sitting idle for months or years, Coleman replied "I'm not too worried that that's going to sit there for too long. I think the opportunities are just too great."
Back at Candyland, Brenda Lamb hopes the next tenant fits into the fabric of Downtown. "If they put in their heart and soul and think about the people that come down here with the museums and the different restaurants, they'll be very successful if they pay attention to the environment that's around here," the popular business owner concluded.
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