Dan Biederman, the president of the 34th Street Partnership, is at the helm of a new expansion coming to Macy's Herald Square.
“Macy's is not only important for the district, but also the city," Biederman said about Macy's recently announced $235 million plan to upgrade the space. "That's a massive number."
It will include a car-free pedestrian space and tower, roughly a million square feet, which will provide office space above the store.
“A lot of seating areas, very elaborate green spaces, plants of the kind that you see now in Herald and Greeley Square," Biederman said of the proposal. "This tower is going to open many years from now around, five or six.”
New infrastructure for easier mass transit options will also be added, such as new subway entrances and exits and ADA accessible elevators. It's an investment in a future that reaches far beyond post-pandemic recovery.
"The exits to the Herald Square Subway Complex are at least 50 or 60 years old, so that's number one, and number two — it's more crowded than it was in the past, pre-COVID, and we believe will get more crowded,” Biederman said.
Retail expert Brandon Singer thinks the new plan could be a sign of the times.
"I think it sort of speaks to New York and it speaks to retail and it speaks to those things going hand in hand and it shows that a humongous company like Macy's has a vision and knows that, in the long run, and hopefully a relative amount of time, New York will come back," Brandon Singer, CEO and co-founder of Retail by MONA said.
Isabelle Roy lives down the block and can't wait for the upgrades. She said she’s looking forward to seeing the city come alive as it reopens and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.
"I'm really excited. I think it is going to be a great space for people to be walking around meeting each other, have a little more of a public common space in New York," Roy said.
Biederman said construction will begin in the next few years, depending on the speed of the approval process.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said the plan was announced today. It was announced May 10.