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Coleman prefers office bldg on Macy's site

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Macy's, downtown St. Paul
Macy's department store in downtown St. Paul, Jan. 2, 2013.
MPR Photo/Nikki Tundel

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says he'd like to see an upscale office building take the place of the downtown Macy's store that will close later this year.

Coleman says it's still early to predict exactly what will take Macy's place, but he says an office building would work well on the site.

"If you're asking me today what my ideal vision for it would be, is a class A office space that would have on the first floor or the second floor, not necessarily retail, but something that would capitalize on the restaurants and the bars and the music scene that's been so successful," Coleman said. 

A spokesman for the mayor says that would likely mean tearing down the existing building and erecting an office tower in its place.

Coleman also ruled out a public subsidy to lure a new retailer to the site. In 2001, when he was a member of the city council, Coleman supported a $6.3 million city subsidy to renovate the building, then occupied by a Dayton's department store. 

The structure is worth less than $2 million today, according to the Ramsey County Assessor's office.