LVMH loses building permit for La Samaritaine

LVMH loses building permit for La Samaritaine

French luxury group LVMH has experienced a major setback: a court of appeal has confirmed La Samaritaine's building permit be revoked. Louis Vuitton's parent company will appeal the decision, but the current decision means a huge delay.

A 460 million euro investment

La Samaritaine had always been likened to luxurious shopping palaces like Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps, but its appeal has floundered since the 1990s. In November 2000, LVMH paid 230 million euro to acquire 51 % of the mythical department store, but had to shut down the luxury temple five years later because of safety hazards. Not unlogical, as there had not been any improvements to the famous Art Deco building since the start of the previous century.

 

LVMH then decided to thoroughly remodel the store, a process which would take 5 to 6 years. Aside from a luxury 26,000 sqm shopping mall, it wanted to add a luxury hotel (from the LVMH-owned Cheval Blanc chain) and 20,000 sqm of office space. At the request of the city council, it also added some social housing for 100 houses and a nursery.

 

The total project, 70,000 sqm stretching from the Seine to the Rue de Rivoli (which leads to the Louvre), would create 2,100 jobs and cost some 460 million euro.

 

Glass "shower curtain" facade

The plans quickly drew criticism as people protested against the demolition of six buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th century. Afterwards, the protest turned towards the intended Rue de Rivoli facade: in 2012, the Parisian city council 'hesitantly' approved the wavy glass facade created by the prestigious Japanese architect firm Sanaa.

 

Adversaries immediately went to court to stop the construction of this "shower curtain", as they scornfully call it. They feel it does not fit the typical Haussmann style, dating back to the 18th and 19th century, found in that particular area of Paris. A judge agreed with them in May and a court of appeal has now confirmed the ruling.

 

LVHM is "dumbfounded" by the ruling and will, alongside city council, appeal it. The reason the city council (and the French Ministery of Culture and the architects in the 'B√Ętiments de France' organization) is on board, is because it has backed the project, after long discussions and the necessary changes. That is what the luxury group has emphasized in its reaction and it does not seem willing to alter its plans at all.

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


European retail rental prices continue to soar

20/07/2017

A recent study from research firm CBRE shows that rental prices for Europe’s most expensive retail locations are still on the rise. It is the only region that still experiences growth for retail real estate.

Mitiska REIM acquires 11 Romanian retail parks

23/06/2017

Mitiska REIM has acquired Romanian Alpha Property Development’s portfolio of eleven profitable retail parks and three development projects. The Belgian real estate firm is now the market leader in Romania.

Raad van State suspends Uplace's environmental permit

30/03/2017

Uplace will have to put its construction plans for Machelen on hold once again because the Raad van State just suspended the environmental permit the Flemish government had approved.

Redevco buys new store location in Paris

24/01/2017

Real estate firm Redevco bought a store location, including stores like Tiffany & Co and Glasshütte, in the Rue de la Paix in Paris from Savills Investment Management. Neither party wished to disclose the fee for the acquisition.

Rental price for top shopping streets drops

16/11/2016

Rental prices in the world's two most expensive shopping streets have dropped due to the growth of online shopping, leaving retail chains and real estate agents in a real pickle on how to deal with this new reality.

Major Benelux cities are important step in international brands' expansion strategy

14/11/2016

International brands use major Benelux cities as an important stepping stone in their European expansion strategy, a new study says. Many major brands schedule openings in the Benelux immediately after hubs like Paris and London, mainly thanks to its central location.

Back to top