The Real Deal Miami

Dacra’s Design District project draws high-end retailers

October 25, 2013 04:00PM

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Cartier and Fendi in Miami’s Design District

Developer Craig Robins’ firm Dacra is spearheading a $1 billion effort to revitalize the Miami Design District by luring luxury retailers away from the long-dominant mall Bal Harbour Shops.

Although the International Council of Shopping Centers deemed Bal Harbour the world’s most productive shopping center last year, several A-list tenants such as Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Cartier have been leaving. Like those stores, Giorgio Armani, Harry Winston Valentino and Fendi are heading 10 miles away for the design district, which comparatively offers more space.

Dacra teamed up with private equity fund L Real Estate to build a new street eventually with pedestrian plazas, luxury condominiums and restaurants.

Cartier grabbed 12 times the space by opening stores in the Design District. Hermes left its 4,300-square-foot spot at Bal Harbour after the lease expired in December. In the interm, it set up a temporary shop in the Design District and is working on a new three-story, 13,000-square-foot flagship there set to open in 2015.

The Bal Harbour lease, however, prevents tenants from opening another location within a predetermined distance, originally a straight radius of 20 miles.

“Miami is completely under-retailed in terms of luxury and in terms of potential of the city,” Emmanuel Perrin, president of Cartier North America, told the New York Times. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t find an agreement with Bal Harbour to have a multistore presence.” [NYT]Mark Maurer

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