LVMH announces reopening of La Samaritaine Parisian department store for late 2018

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Nicola Mira
today May 16, 2016
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The LVMH group, owner of the Samaritaine department store in Paris, reported on 12th May that redevelopment and renovation work on the building is advancing according to schedule, after being held up by court order for nearly three years. The opening to the public is planned for the end of 2018.

LVMH's CFO  Jean-Jacques Guiony stated: "We are targeting the end of 2018 for the public opening," the plan being for the entire 70,000 m2 premises to be inaugurated simultaneously. The statement came upon the re-opening of the Samaritaine's rue de Pont-Neuf location, which will house a presentation to the general public of the redevelopment's features.

The Samaritaine department store was created by Ernest Cognacq in 1869. It closed down in 2005, initially to allow building work to comply with regulations to be carried out. The project was later expanded, adding offices, a luxury hotel, social housing and a crèche to the original commercial building.

Work began in 2012 but was subsequently halted due to several appeals by heritage preservation societies and residents' associations, which notably challenged the planned addition of a contemporary façade to one of the building's sides.

The judicial dispute lasted for three years, before being finally settled by a June 2015 decision of the Council of State, which ratified the construction licence and authorised the site's entire redevelopment and renovation project.

Renovation work began again a few weeks later, and is expected to last for 36 months.

The project will ultimately feature 96 social housing units, offices, the 'Cheval Blanc' luxury hotel with 72 rooms and suites, a crèche with availability for 80, and the return of the 'La Samaritaine' department store, with a retail area extending over 21,000 m2.

In the past, the creation of a shopping arcade or of two medium-sized retail surfaces had also been considered.

From an architectural point of view, the new department store will recapture the building's original spirit, now conceived as an upmarket retail area, like the Le Bon Marché department store, also owned by the LVMH group. According to the luxury goods group, it will feature fashion, jewellery, leather goods, beauty and grocery stores, as well as a wellness area.

Still according to LVMH, the building's entire redevelopment/renovation project, for an investment of €500 million, is expected to create 4,400 direct, indirect and induced jobs on the site and in the area.

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