The New York developer that plans to transform the soon-to-close Macy’s in Minneapolis will keep skyways linking the property open during construction.

Representatives from investment firm 601W Cos. met with Minneapolis city officials Monday to briefly discuss the project.

Macy’s Inc. said last week it will close its store on Nicollet Mall in March. 601W is paying more than $40 million for the property and plans to renovate the three buildings that make up the location into a mix of retail and office space.

“They were very anxious to work with the city,” said Council President Barb Johnson. She added later, “They like working with elected officials, and that’s good news to us.”

During the meeting, 601W indicated that it wanted to finalize the sale of the property by the end of the month and start on renovation work as soon as possible, Johnson said. The group said it would keep the skyways connecting the property open throughout the construction process barring when there is any work done on the skyways themselves.

The skyway system is largely owned and maintained by downtown building owners. The Macy’s skyway hub provides a crossing over Nicollet Mall and connections to the IDS Center, US Bancorp Center, Highland Bank Court and City Center.

601W didn’t indicate if there were tenants it was already considering for the property. The group was open to breaking up the retail space so that there are more tenants instead of a massive single tenant operation, said Council Member Jacob Frey.

“We can all be nostalgic about Macy’s and Dayton’s through March and then we, collectively as a city, have to regain our swagger and embrace the next phase,” Frey said. “The next phase is going to be awesome.”

601W didn’t mention if it would ask for any local financial incentives to help with the overhaul. The group will have to do some asbestos abatement work, but no firm timeline was discussed. Detailed plans have yet to be submitted to the city.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to meet with representatives of 601W,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges in a statement. “It was clear from our discussion that they will be good stewards of what they know is an iconic building at a crucial juncture — geographically and historically — on Nicollet Mall.”


Twitter: @nicolenorfleet