Yves Saint Laurent leases space in I Magnin building in SF’s Union Square

Luxury brand plans to renovate the levels of the property it will occupy

Francesca Bellettini, chief executive officer, Yves Saint Laurent (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)
Francesca Bellettini, chief executive officer, Yves Saint Laurent (Getty Images, LoopNet, iStock)

Yves Saint Laurent is betting on the future of San Francisco’s Union Square, where high-end brands were targeted by criminal gangs last year.

The luxury retailer signed a lease to take over the basement, ground and mezzanine levels of the historic I. Magnin & Co. building, almost doubling its space in Union Square, the San Francisco Business Times reported. YSL submitted plans to renovate 12,323 square feet across three levels of the building on the corner of Geary Street and Grant Avenue.

The move comes on the heels of Chanel’s decision to buy a three-story, 18,000-square-foot property in Union Square for $63 million.

YSL is running out of space in its current home at 108 Geary Street, where its lease is set to expire in 2023, according to the Business Times. The brand will probably operate both stores for a short time at least.

“Right now luxury retailers are talking about how American consumers aren’t traveling as much,” Alicia Morvari, director of YSL’s store, told the outlet. “So we have the power of the U.S. dollar being spent right here.”

In late 2021, Yves Saint Laurent, along with other high-end retailers were targeted in several grab-and-run robberies, leading to the addition of an armed guard in their stores.

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The brand is addressing safety concerns. In its application, YSL said it may replace one of the front doors with a window and replace ground-level windows with ballistic glass and roll-down security gates.

YSL plans to primarily operate from the ground level and will use some of the mezzanine space for an employee lounge and appointment-only shopping. The basement will be mostly for storage.

The new store is expected to open in August.

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[SFBT] — Victoria Pruitt