CHICAGO (CBS) — “Disgusting and embarrassing” – that is how Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas describes the possibility of a Target store replacing the iconic Macy’s on the Magnificent Mile.

As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, Pappas said she called the owners of the space on Tuesday and begged them to do better.

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“I’ve been around awhile,” Pappas said. “I’m not known for not saying exactly what I think.”

Pappas is in the hot seat, and she’s not getting up any time soon.

“I love Target, but it is not a magnificent store,” she said.

Pappas said via Zoom she stands by the comments she has made on the possibility – the current rumor – that a Target store could take Macy’s place as the anchor of Water Tower Place.

“Please don’t come in there and sell carrots and celery,” Pappas said. “People would come from all over the world. They arrive at the intersection of Pearson and Michigan — and they see a Target.”

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told Molina over the phone that right now, the possibility of a Target at Water Tower Place really is only a rumor – going on to say the owners of this space, Brookfield Properties, are not in negotiations with anyone yet.

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“Do the very best you can for the neighborhood,” Pappas said.

Brookfield Properties – which is headquartered at Brookfield Place in New York and has no connection to the western Chicago suburb of Brookfield – got a call from Pappas on Tuesday.

She said she told them, “You need to try harder, because it’s the ambience of Michigan Avenue that were trying to preserve.”

But with vacancies now lining the Mag Mile, and concerns about those vacancies reported for months, we asked Treasurer Pappas what she has to say to those who say any new retail is better than nothing – and criticize a public official for saying otherwise.

“This is not an issue of Target or an empty space,” Pappas said. “This is an issue of, how is it that you keep Michigan Avenue as a great street that’s a destination that everyone in the world wants to come to and gets excited about?”

Target has no comment on the possibility of a move or on those comments made today. A spokesperson issued a statement saying, “I can share that we are continually evaluating potential store locations to serve new guests, but I don’t have any new-store news to share at this time.”

Macy’s presence at Water Tower Place dates back to the mall’s opening in 1976, when the store first operated as a Marshall Field’s location. Macy’s acquired Marshall Field in 2005.

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Macy’s announced plans in January to close the Water Tower Place location.

Tara Molina