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Saturday is Macy's last day in downtown St. Paul

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Macy's closing
Macy's in downtown St. Paul, Minn., seen in a file photo, is closing on Saturday, March 16, 2013. The store first opened as Dayton's in 1963.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The last department store in downtown St. Paul will close permanently on Saturday, and nearby small businesses are anxious to see what the impact on them will be.

When what is now Macy's opened as a Dayton's in 1963, it was one of several downtown department stores. 

Its closing will leave downtown St. Paul without a major retailer, along with 360,000 square feet of vacant retail space. 

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman has ruled out public subsidies to entice another retailer to replace Macy's.

Owners of nearby businesses, like George Rinkanya of the clothing and gift store CoStyle World, are worried they will see less foot traffic. 

Rinkanya said he has already noticed an impact. 

"For the last two months our sales have been down," he said. "But I would say because of the sale at Macy's, probably that is the reason. But we are here to see what happens."

Rinkanya added: "It's kind of worrisome because when people think that businesses are running away from downtown, they have a negative image about downtown, so they don't think about shopping downtown."

He said if business doesn't pick up within six months, he may have to think about closing.