Thursday, June 3, 2010

UM to buy Macy's building? (UPDATED)

Posted By on Thu, Jun 3, 2010 at 2:45 PM

That's what UM Vice President Jim Foley announced yesterday during a luncheon for city and university officials, according to City Councilman Bob Jaffe's always informative listserv. According to Jaffe's post, UM is evaluating the possibility of using the historic structure to expand UM's Montana Museum of Art and Culture.

We also learned that they are trying to put together a deal to buy the Macy’s building for an expansion of the UM art museum. There have been rumors about this. I’m not sure if it has been in the paper, but this was the first I heard of it officially. I asked what they thought about traffic generation for downtown as it sounded like it would mostly be used for warehousing. Mr. Foley pointed out that their Pulitzer photo exhibit generated 15,000 visits. I’m skeptical.

The building has been on the market since Macy's shut its doors in March.

UPDATE:
We spoke to Foley. He says the university is in the very early stages of scoping out a possible deal.

"It's just a concept at this point for the Montana Museum of Art and Culture," he says. "We have talked very briefly with the agents who are listed to sell it."

The Montana Museum of Art and Culture hosts a permanent collection that includes more than 10,000 pieces of art, including work from Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Andy Warhol.

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