THE LOOP — The Gap is closing its big store on State Street, and signs suggest a new tower could replace it.
The store at 35 N. State St. will close Feb. 23, a Gap spokeswoman said. Store employees said they'll start a clearance sale marking down most items by 60 percent soon.
"We always evaluate our store fleet to ensure we have the right stores in the right locations to best serve our customers’ needs," the spokeswoman said in an email. "The decision to close a store is always a difficult one and we hope our customers will continue to shop with us at nearby stores or online."
The spokeswoman declined to comment further, but the store could be closing because of its landlord: New York-based Georgetown Co., which considered a high-rise development on the property when it bought it in 2011. Back then the store was an Old Navy that reportedly had six years left on its lease.
A Georgetown spokesman declined to comment on the company's plans for the property. The Gap has other Chicago stores on the Mag Mile, in Old Town, and Lakeview; as well as an outlet store in Logan Square.
A new tower would block another familiar sight at State and Madison streets: a 10-story mural of Chicago bluesman Muddy Waters that debuted last year.
"Well we know that land is not going to go unutilized forever," said Anne Voshel, an owner of the tower with the mural at 17 N. State St. "Development happens, so this hopefully has been a good piece of public art for whatever period of time we have it."