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Kith Paris letting shows retail has a future says Mark’s Meijer

In what it says is a sign that city centre retail does have a future, investment manager Mark, formerly Meyer Bergman, has redeveloped one-time hotel Pershing Hall in Paris, having let 1,500 sq m of the mixed-use building to New York-headquartered urban fashion brand Kith.

Pershing Hall is located at 49 Rue Pierre Charron, Pershing Hall, in Paris’s so-called Golden Triangle which is close to Avenue des Champs Élysées.

Kith has taken space on the lower three floors of the building on a 10-year lease and opened its store last week, its largest to date and its first European flagship.

“Our welcoming of Kith to Pershing Hall is a timely reminder that city centre retail still has a future. The luxury market in particular has demonstrated a special resilience and locations underpinned by solid fundamentals such as high footfall and strong transport connectivity will perform well as we enter the recovery period,” said Mark CEO Marcus Meijer.

The fund MERP III, advised by Mark, acquired Pershing Hall in 2018 and more than €20m was spent on its transformation from luxury hotel to mixed-use asset – there is also 1,300 sq m of office space on the upper four floors. The building was originally a 19th century private mansion that was later purchased by the American Legion in 1928 to serve as a World War One memorial before becoming a luxury hotel.

The building was delivered at the shell-and-core stage for Kith to fit out.

 “Key to retail’s success is investors working with occupiers collaboratively as we have done with Kith, to help create new destinations that have experience at their core,” said Meyer.

“Coronavirus has accelerated many of the structural shifts impacting real estate and we see a historic opportunity to reposition or repurpose existing assets as we have done with Pershing Hall.”

Mark is also repositioning the former Whiteleys department store in London, which is being transformed into luxury apartments, a Six Senses hotel and new retail space.