West Hollywood’s Robertson Boulevard is primed for a comeback

Robertson Boulevard, the shopping area to the stars in the 90’s – with paparazzi stalking the likes of Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Britney Spears and Kim Kardashian – now has 13 retail vacancies between West Third Street and Beverly Boulevard. Most of the stores remaining are generic mall retailers.



 Upscale stores like Dolce & Gabbana, Ralph Lauren and Armani Casa are long gone, replaced like fast fashion stores like LF, while large restaurant spaces haven’t been filled in over seven years. A decade ago, buses filled with tourists spotted starlets shopping on the street and top retailers engaged in bidding wars for storefronts. Australian brand Zimmerman opened there in 2015 – only to close the following year, moving to Melrose Place. Lululemon opened and closed within two years. BCBG closed on Robertson in 2015.
 
However several new stores and restaurants are under construction, and Jay Luchs, said one of the leading real estate brokers on the street, feels it’s finally primed for a comeback. Around six stores have opened on the street in the past six months, including opened high-end boutique Peri. A at 146 N. Robertson Boulevard, whose owner, Peri Arenas, a former Palm Springs retailer, was ready to gamble on it again. “It went down. I want to help it come back,” she said. “I remember when it was the place to be."
 
Robertson Plaza, located on the 120 block of North Robertson, is undergoing an extensive remodel. Construction crews are transforming a space once known for storefronts, offices and the long-vacant Newsroom Café into a restaurant-centered center. High-end coffee roaster Blue Bottle Coffee Co. is scheduled to open in the second half of this year, as is The Henry, a Phoenix-headquartered restaurant chain. Other businesses coming to Robertson Plaza will include a boxing studio and a bar.
 
At its zenith, Robertson retail real estate went for $23 per square foot in the middle of 2008. Currently, Luchs said that prices run from $6 per square foot to $7 per square foot.
 
New tenants with long leases include Peri. A,  Ambassador of Italian Excellence (design, fashion, jewelry and art),. Max–Bone, a high-end pet-products boutique. There are also new pop-up shops such as t-shirt and hoodie-focused Mad Happy, and luxury footwear designer Tamara Mellon’s current pop up is scheduled to close in July.
 
Meanwhile, a few high end retailers never abandoned the block. Chanel is still there, as is Intermix.

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