Saks Off 5th to reopen on State Street

Retailer closed 24k sf store in 2019; also plans to bring back 40K sf Near North Side location

Saks Fifth's Paige Thomas with 6 South State Street
Saks Fifth's Paige Thomas with 6 South State Street (LinkedIn, Getty, Google Maps)

Chicago’s once-storied shopping corridor is getting some of its action back.

Discount apparel retailer Saks Off 5th is reopening a store at 6 South State Street, as well as one in the NewCity shopping center on the Near North Side, this spring, Crain’s reported. The chain closed both stores in 2019.

“It’s a sign that things are coming back,” CBRE’s Luke Molloy told Crain’s.

A raft of big-name retailers have closed their State Street stores since the onset of the pandemic, including DSW, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters and New York & Co. Those closures and others in the market added up to a retail vacancy rate of 23 percent in the Central Loop at the end of 2021.

That figure is an improvement over a 26 percent vacancy rate for the corridor in mid-2021, though it’s still well above the 2019 rate of 15 percent, according to Chicago-based brokerage Stone Real Estate.

Now, more retailers are seriously shopping for space on State Street, Molloy said, calling Saks’ return encouraging.

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Some real estate players are testing the market with listings in the Central Loop, including an Isaac Shalom venture listing a 171,000-square-foot retail space on the corner of State and Madison Streets and CBRE marketing a 22,000-square-foot Magnificent Mile retail space.

Saks Off 5th was among the Loop shopping strip’s larger retail tenants, opening its 23,500-square-foot store in 2016.

The chain has continued to control the space after it closed through its original long-term lease from the property owner, a joint venture between New York-based Madison Capital and Bethesda-Md.-based ASB Capital Management.

The firms paid $60 million to buy the storefront in 2014 along with two immediately south of it, one which is occupied by JD Sports and the other was formerly occupied by Urban Outfitters and is now vacant.

Saks’ NewCity store totals 40,000 square feet. The chain already operates stores in Northbrook, Rosemont and Aurora.

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Rachel Herzog