The former Macy’s department Store inside Palouse Mall in Moscow has been empty for four years but the space appears to be under construction for a new tenant.

Mall management has not revealed what potential business is moving into the space, but one rumor that has swirled around some businesses inside the mall is that Target will move into the space.

Construction debris is fenced off outside the mall on the far west end, adjacent to where Macy’s used to operate. Inside the former Macy’s, the large space appears to be gutted and at least one person was working inside Thursday morning.

An employee at one business said an IMAX theater was one rumor she heard but the most popular rumor was Target.

“At Target, we continuously explore possible locations for new stores, including in the Moscow area,” according to an email from a Target spokesperson to the Lewiston Tribune. “We are currently focused on new store growth with our small-format stores, which are smaller than our general merchandise Target stores and are located in dense urban and suburban neighborhoods as well as near college campuses. I can tell you we are pursuing the opportunity to reach guests in the area, but at this time, we’re not at a point where we can share any new store plans.”

Justin Rasmussen, broker at Kiemle Hagood in Moscow, said it has long been rumored that Target was opening a store in Moscow, specifically at Palouse Mall. Rasmussen said Target officials did a market tour in Moscow about two years ago. At that point, they were only interested in opening a small-format store, the same type Target mentioned in the email.

“With how hard retail has been hit, I would be very, very surprised if they (Target) were circling back on that space, but I guess it’s possible,” Rasmussen said.

He said he had not spoken with the mall’s broker in quite a while.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to find someone for the space,” Rasmussen said. “That would be fantastic.”

Bill Belknap, Moscow deputy city supervisor of community planning and design, said his office has not received building plans or applications for the space.

Macy’s served 37 years as the anchor store of Palouse Mall. It employed 47 people, according to a news release from Macy’s in 2016.

Garrett Cabeza can be reached at (208) 883-4631, or by email to gcabeza@dnews.com.

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