Saks Fifth Avenue To Close At End of December

The Renaissance Place anchor store will shut its doors in Highland Park at the end of the holiday shopping season. The city and developers are already working to find new retailers.

The in  will close at the end of December, Crain's Chicago Business reports.

The 49,000 square-foot store opened in 2000 in downtown Highland Park. Though no reason has been reported yet for the store's closing, it follows a trend of Saks closures over the past decade. The Saks location at Skokie's Westfield Old Orchard mall closed in 2005, according to Crain's, which also points out that after the Highland Park store closes, the only remaining full-line Saks store in the Chicago area is its flagship location on Michigan Avenue.

Shortly after the news was announced, the asset manager for Renaissance Place issued a press release outlining its plan to deal with the loss of its anchor store.

“We have enjoyed our relationship with Saks," said Metzler Real Estate CEO Don Wise. "Looking forward, we are committed to continue providing the best possible customer experience for the Highland Park community."

Though few details have been revealed about what's next for Renaissance Place, the release indicates that the real estate company may be considering placing a mix of independently owned boutiques as well as larger national chains in the Saks space. .

"We expect some exciting announcements in the coming months," Wise said.

The company is working with the city of Highland Park to find retailers.

"We are pleased to be proactively working with Metzler to identify retailers that will further enhance our dynamic downtown business district,” said . 

This is a developing story. Keep checking back for more details.

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Steve Handwerker September 05, 2012 at 06:01 PM
What a shame. It's a beautiful store!
Jeff Wheeler September 05, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I can't believe it took them this long to close! The store has been dead for years. The selection is half of what you would find in their other stores. Good luck finding a tenant for this.
James Dean September 05, 2012 at 06:55 PM
In the 12 years it was open my wife and I were in the store 1 time a couple of months after it opened. I was in need of a new sport coat and went to the sale rack and found one in my size....sale price $1,750. My wife walked over with a scarf she had found on a sale table thinking she had found a great deal marked down to $4.20 unfortunately I had to point out where the decimal was and it was marked down from $1,200 to $420. Needless to say we never set foot in it again.
forest barbieri September 05, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I have wondered for 7 years why this store even existed in HP and thought that the CEO must live close and did not mind a money losing store relative to the prestige of having it in town. I was even more surprised when Marshall Field's closed in Lake Forest and this did not closely follow suit. This type of store needs lots of foot traffic or a number of Russia (Eastern European) women shopping regularly to make the numbers work. Unfortunately, this had neither as the economy has pushed those buyers to Nordstrom Rack, Sax Fifth Off and Neiman’s outlet type of stores. It is a beautiful building and it will be interesting to see how the landlord proceeds. Likely a mixed use.
Carl Lambrecht September 05, 2012 at 10:08 PM
For the past 15 years every 10 minute someone is leaving Illinois with their tax paying income. Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! Last night Deerfield/Highland School District 113 was exploring a way to increase taxes. Yet it is the fifth most expensive school distinct out of over 800 school distinct in Illinois. Paying heavy taxes does not make it easy to purchase from a store. like Sax Fifth Ave. If you have questions telephone Carl Lambrecht 847 432 8255 or email lambrecht@laurelindustries.com
Mosaic53 September 05, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Hardly surprising. Nothing in that store was affordable other than Cosmetics. There was never enough merchandise at different price points. The shoes, handbags & clothing were way out of my budget. Neiman Marcus, just a few miles away, still thrives but it's in a Mall not a neighborhood. It was never the right fit from Day One. I predict Z Gallerie will be next. I hope the developers & the City can find more appropriate retail replacements that can afford to be here. This space & the now empty Restoration Hardware will be difficult to fill.
James Dean September 06, 2012 at 12:40 AM
Carl, please stop spamming every article with the same posts. Also you do realize that one of the reasons our taxes are high is because our city and state created a TIF district to benefit the developer of Renaissance Place and the stores. I don't remember the details but I would not be surprised that maybe the tax favored deal is expiring so now they decide to close.
Carl Lambrecht September 06, 2012 at 01:48 AM
James tell me more about the TIF.
Jeff Wheeler September 06, 2012 at 03:18 AM
James -- If I recall correctly, we did not create a TIF, it might have been a tax abatement or tax incentive -- or something similar. I think the only TIF district in HP is the Ravinia Business District, but I'm not positive.
David Greenberg September 06, 2012 at 04:13 AM
TIF, Abatement, Rebate, Incentive: It doesn't really matter what you call it, history has proven in locales all across the Nation that when the deal expires, the company leaves. That said, we don't know what the issue was here. Perhaps high rents, and a lousy economy, combined with higher IL State Taxes were enough to push it over the edge. Personally, rather than an "anchor tenant", it could be interesting to sub-divide the space vis a vis was done with Borders. Such a solution could possibly increase revenues - but we'd have to "do the math" first...
Jeff Wheeler September 06, 2012 at 04:34 AM
David -- Agreed. I'll have coffee with you before the 'going out of business sale' but only when the items get marked down to below 'Off 5th' prices and before they move the merchandise over the border to Northbrook, where the sales tax revenues will go instead of to HP.
Louis G. Atsaves September 06, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I don't understand. We've turned the corner. Things are getting better. In just a little while according to Bill Clinton, economic prosperity will explode and shower all of us with endless riches and comforts which we will all share equally. Anyone, according to he who was impeached while in office, including those nasty Republicans, who say otherwise just aren't telling the truth. Listen to him! So why are stores and restaurants in this region still closing? Why so many vacant store fronts with "For Rent" signs in Highland Park, Deerfield and Lake Forest? Why are so many homes still being foreclosed in our area? Why does the unemployment rate remain so stubbornly high? Things are getting better! Right?
Carl Lambrecht September 06, 2012 at 03:17 PM
James please tell me more about the TIF. If you are not comfortable to write on this you can telephone me at 847 432 8255.
forest barbieri September 06, 2012 at 04:22 PM
The word "relativity" comes to mind. Things are slowly improving as evidenced by SOLD signs on homes, "Tear Downs" happening again as well as general retail and travel activity. We went down a steep slope and it is a slow crawl out. Many of the stores and restaurants that have closed have closed because of poor concept, under financed, poor execution, the wrong idea at the wrong time et al. Take a look at RUB which opened during the crises as an example of how to do it right as they just opened a second restaurant that seems to also be doing well. Good concept, good service and good food. It does not take magic (or Democrat/Republican) to create a successful business, it takes a good "not just in the mind of the proprietor or their friends who do not want to tell them their idea is not as great as they think" concept, good people, execution, the ability to strategically change direction and a lot of hard work.
Alice Riley November 07, 2012 at 09:01 PM
It would be nice to have mix of small boutique clothing, jewelry, home/gift stores with some eateries.


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