Following an announcement Wednesday afternoon that the Downtown Spokane location of the national retail chain, Macy’s, would be closing within the next three months, Downtown Spokane continues to remain optimistic about its positive forward momentum.

While the closing of the store presents the loss of a major anchor for the city center, efforts in recent years to differentiate retail as a lifestyle destination separate from big box malls places downtown Spokane as an exclusive shopping experience not available elsewhere within 250 miles of Spokane’s urban core.

There are no known definitive plans at this time for the future of the location, however the Downtown Spokane Partnership will advocate on behalf of downtown Ratepayers for the best possible use of the space to be vacated at Main Avenue and Wall Street currenlty owned by the retail chain.

“There is a certain emotional tie to this legacy tenant in downtown, making this announcement unfortunate for longtime spokane residents,” said Downtown Spokane Partnership President, Mark Richard. “Foremost, we can’t lose sight of the loss of employment for 90 Macy’s employees. DSP encourages the business community to consider them when making hiring decisions. With regard to the future of this location, we are very optimistic this property will be refilled given its prime location and tremendous strength in the downtown economy.  The potential opportunity for that building is huge. There have been inquiries into mixed-use retail and housing at that location over the last few years.”

Richard also mentioned that the major investments at River Park Square, the adjacent Urban Outfitters building under construction and $64 million dollar Riverfront Park renovation happening near the historic Spokane building would only make the location more desirable to investors and future tenants. Exciting news regarding national brand tenants in adjacent properties is pending in the next few weeks as well.

In 1956, the C.C. Anderson department store chain completed a ten story building at Main Avenue and Wall Street in Spokane for their new store, named the Bon Marche. The store immediately commissioned a landmark holiday decoration: the Madonna and Christ child simulated stained glass window in front of the store. In recent years, the Downtown BID has installed flood lighting along the perimeter of the well-known façade to enhance holiday and event experiences.

In 2003 the Bon Marche became Bon-Macy’s, transitioning to Macy’s in 2005.