2014 Newsmakers: Rodeo Drive Construction Brings Even More Luxury to Beverly Hills

This was a big year for remodels and construction of new buildings on Rodeo Drive, often considered the most exclusive of luxury shopping districts in Southern California.

Burberry, the British fashion house, unveiled a new multi-story building at 301 N. Rodeo Drive in November, the same month Burberry’s Christopher Bailey, the label’s chief creative officer and chief executive officer, was honored by a plaque on the luxe street’s Walk of Style.

Crews working with Shawmut Design & Construction are in the final stretches of building one of the most highly anticipated new buildings on Rodeo, the Louis Vuitton flagship, which is scheduled to take a bow in the first quarter of 2015.

Also notable for new construction this year, a three-level flagship for the Saint Laurent fashion house opened at 326 N. Rodeo Drive. The street is marked by some undone work. Chanel acquired the street’s Lladro building for more than $200 million in 2013. However, Chanel has not yet begun construction on its reported expansion.

Rodeo’s construction crews typically worked on remodels and creating new looks for fashion houses moving onto the street. DSquared2 created a new look for its flagship at 461 N. Rodeo Drive. Vera Wang put its idiosyncratic look on a flagship at 428 N. Rodeo Drive, which it moved into in April. Tori Burch kicked off 2014 when it opened its Rodeo Drive flagship in January. Coach also unveiled a remodel of its Rodeo Drive boutique this year.

The 2014 construction represents something of a restoration for luxury and European fashion houses on Rodeo. A few years ago, a vanguard of contemporary retailers and denim brands moved onto the street, and it seemed that Rodeo, which had been devoted to luxury with a distinct European personality, was going in a new direction. While some of those contemporary retailers are thriving on the street, Beverly Drive, a few blocks away from Rodeo, has become known as the top Beverly Hills address for contemporary looks, with retailers such as Scoop, Intermix and Iro moving onto the street, said Jay Luchs, executive vice president of NewmarkGrubbKnightFrank and one of the prominent commercial brokers in Beverly Hills.

Most Rodeo fashion houses that recently penned leases intend to stay for a long time. The typical Rodeo lease is a 10-year lease with options to add another five additional years. “There are more tenants who want to be on the street,” Luchs said. “There is more demand than supply.” Rodeo rent also costs the prettiest penny. It costs $60 for a square foot of commercial space on Rodeo, or a range of $650 to $750 per annum. A square foot of commercial space on nearby Beverly Drive ranges from $15 to $18 per square foot, or $180 to $216 per square foot per annum.