The Development Replacing Macy’s Could Be the Future of Downtown PGH

In July of 2015, Macy’s announced they were closing the iconic downtown Pittsburgh location. As soon as the news got out, Pittsburghers lost it.

And rightfully so. The location opened in 1887 and originally served as the flagship store for Kaufmann’s. Whether you know it as Kaufmann’s or Macy’s, the location has been a mainstay in Pittsburgh for well over 100 years. There’s the iconic clock. The Arcade Bakery and the Tic Toc Diner. The famous holiday window displays. These are memories that could last a lifetime. And they’ll have to. Because there’s a plan underway to replace Macy’s in a big way.

The Grand at Fifth Avenue

image via michael pellas
image via michael pellas

That plan will see the 12-story landmark Macy’s department store transformed into a one-million-square-foot mixed-used development. The Grand at Fifth Avenue, as it has been named, is a $100 million project that will include retail, restaurants, and entertainment spots. There will be a 155-room hotel, an open-air atrium, and 600 parking space.

And according to the New York Times, it’s “one of the latest votes of confidence in the decade-long resurgence of the city’s downtown.”

The Future of Downtown Pittsburgh

When Macy’s closed it was seen as a low point for Pittsburgh. But in a recent New York Times article, the mixed-used development replacing Macy’s appears to be more of turning point. One that could transform the Golden Triangle for generations to come.

At this point, however, that future still remains uncertain. Ultimately, the developers of this project know, “we need people.” Which begs the question, what is it that you want to see downtown?