Paseo Colorado Macy's closing in early spring

Department store giant Macy's Inc. will close its three-level, 158,000-square-foot store in Paseo Colorado in early spring, according to a Thursday announcement.

The store's 116 employees will be offered transfers to other Southern California locations "where possible," according to the company. Clearance sales will begin Monday.

The closure does not appear to affect Macy's other Pasadena location, a larger store about a mile away on South Lake Avenue.

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President Paul Little said he is optimistic that closure of the Paseo Macy's will diversify Pasadena's retail landscape and lead to improvements at Paseo.

"Between the two Macy's, to some degree they may have cannibalized each other," Little said.

"This creates an opportunity in the middle of Pasadena's downtown for something that can support tenants already at Paseo and draw in more."

The Macy's at Paseo predates construction of the 565,000-square-foot outdoor retail and residential complex in 2001. It previously anchored the east end of Plaza Pasadena, a traditional indoor mall built in the 1970s that was demolished in 2000.

While the open courtyards and street-front shops of Paseo represented an aesthetic reboot for the civic center area, the Macy's building retained the former mall's cement fortress façade.

"Macy's is the last vestige of that Plaza Pasadena look. This gives the landlord an incentive and opportunity to upgrade the east end of the Paseo," Little said.

Representatives for Paseo Colorado, Macy's and the South Lake Avenue Business District did not return calls seeking comment.

Shoppers at the Paseo Macy's on Thursday offered mixed reactions to word of its impending closure.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Carole Hodel, a Tujunga resident who was exchanging Christmas gifts. "The Macy's on Lake is far superior. This store has really turned into a junk heap, with a lot of merchandise you don't see at other Macy's."

Claire Bevan, a Pasadena resident who shopped frequently at the Paseo Macy's in her childhood, had a different take.

"I love this Macy's. It's kind of under the radar," said Bevan, 20, also making an exchange. "No one knows about it, so they have the best sales."

Allan Limfat, an optometrist at nearby Linden Optometry, said the vacancy will be felt by downtown workers and businesses.

"I see a lot of my staff carrying Macy's bags," said Limfat, 48, who was shopping with his 16-year-old daughter. "I don't know what else is going to go in here. I don't foresee any company taking over all three floors."

Macy's, which also operates the Bloomingdale's chain, announced the Paseo closure as part of a series of closures and openings.

The company will close four Macy's and one Bloomingdale's in other states but open five new Macy's, also in other states.

A Bloomingdale's is set to open this fall at the Glendale Galleria at a 120,000-square-foot site that had been occupied by Mervyn's until 2008.

The Glendale Bloomingdale's will employ 175 people, according to the company.



Follow Joe Piasecki on Twitter: @JoePiasecki.