Friday, November 26, 2010

The Future of La Samaritaine

photo via Wikipedia
More updates on Paris real estate news.

Famed Paris department store La Samaritaine is now 100% owned by luxury goods conglomerate  LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy), which this week bought out the 40.1% ownership that had been retained by the Fondation Cognacq-Jay, according to an article in Le Nouvel Observateur. So that last speed-bump in the path of its renovation is out of the way, and plans will move forward.

I wrote earlier that the beloved department store was shuttered abruptly about five years ago by LVMH.  The website and signs on the building's exterior enigmatically announce "Department store closed due to works for the purpose of security."   It has been sitting vacant since 2005 (always a disappointing surprise to past travellers to Paris who haven't been in the city recently).  The building apparently will be transformed into a mixed-use complex: a luxury hotel filling out the historic facade with the fabulous view of the Seine, retail space on rue de Rivoli, offices and mixed-income housing, and a day-care center (“une crèche”). The renovations will be designed by the Japanese architectural firm Sanaa.

Shovels will go in the ground in late 2011, with a planned opening of the newly configurated spaces at the end of 2013.

I understand now how the building will be re-purposed-- but will the department store as an entity be resurrected?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Mixed income housing? How mixed, I wonder. Luxury flats and a concierge's studio?

Good to know it's being brought back into service anyway.

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