Miami Beach approves new Whole Foods store design
Austin, Texas – Whole Foods Market has received approval for the design of a planned 40,000-sq.-ft. store from the Planning and Design Review Board of the City of Miami Beach. The design features a well-proportioned grid of white concrete, establishing a pedestrian loggia at the ground level, and a floating garden above that screens the parking.
Flora selected by Urban Robot is veiled behind a mesh supported within the superstructure. A large, landscaped plaza at the corner of the site is designed to serve as a major public gathering space. The site will include the Whole Foods store, as well as a 5,000-sq.-ft. Wells Fargo bank with drive through teller windows, parking for 250 cars, charging stations for electric vehicles, and more than 30 bike racks.
Developer Crescent Heights selected Oppenheim Architecture to design the site.
"The Oppenheim team demonstrated a remarkable ability to see the essence of the businesses blended with the desires of the locals to have a timeless community statement utilizing classic architecture embraced by the entire city,” said Whole Foods Market store development project manager Kelly Mills. “We could not have asked for more synergy."
Canadian department store to expand across country
Quebec — The Quebec City-based Simons department store chains is planning to extend its brand across Canada, according to Canada’s Global News.
The 175-year-old Canadian retailer – plans to spend up to $200 million over the next four years on its expansion plan, which will result in eight additional stores openings across the country, the report said.
Simons, which currently has eight stores, will open its ninth location next month, in Quebec. The company also plans to enter British Columbia and Ontario, as well as expanding its presence in Alberta.
Macy’s reduces Pittsburgh presence
Cincinnati – Macy’s is reducing its presence in Pittsburgh. The retailer has sold its downtown Pittsburgh building at 400 Fifth Avenue to Philadelphia-based Core Realty and will close its store in that location.
The Macy’s building and annex includes about 1.2 million-sq.-ft. of space on 13 floors, partial street-level and arcade floors, a basement and sub-basement. Currently, about 475,000-sq.-ft. is Macy’s selling space. The site has served as retail space since a Kaufmann’s store was opened there in 1887. A predecessor company to Macy’s bought Kaufmann’s in 2005 and changed the banner to Macy’s in 2006.
About 170 employees will have their jobs terminated, and may be offered positions in nearby stores where possible. Eligible full-time and part-time associates who are laid off due to the store closing will be offered severance benefits.
In addition, about 30 Macy’s associates who work in various district offices on the 11th floor of the downtown Pittsburgh building will be relocated to space in another Macy’s store in the Pittsburgh area. Going forward, Macy’s workforce in the Greater Pittsburgh area will include about 2,450 associates.
“For the past four years, Macy’s has been investigating the best possible use for this property, especially given the large amount of unproductive and unused space on the upper floors,” said Jeff Kantor, Macy’s chief stores officer. “Our decision to close downtown is not a reflection of the store’s management and staff, who have done a great job at serving the downtown customer.”
Macy’s will not operate a downtown store going forward, but will continue to operate 13 other local stores in southwestern Pennsylvania. A final clearance sale in the downtown Pittsburgh store will begin on Monday, July 20, and is expected to run until early September. Despite this closure, Macy’s is still pursuing an aggressive new store strategy with 32 new stores planned to open by 2018.
Core Realty is planning a mixed-use redevelopment for the building.