By  on December 6, 2004

NEW YORK — A top luxury retail property in Hawaii, called 2100 Kalakaua Avenue, has new owners that want to pump up the shopping center’s already powerful sales numbers.

Lehman Bros. sold the 111,000-square-foot, three-level designer shop complex, housing Chanel, Gucci, Tiffany, Coach, Yves Saint Laurent, Boucheron and Tods for $156 million to Metropole Realty Advisors and Heller Properties.

“Together, we will be marketing the property to maximize its luxury experience and replicate the ambience of Madison Avenue or Faubourg St. Honore,” said Robert Siegel, chief executive officer and principal of Metropole, a development and investment group based here.

He said 2100 Kalakaua Avenue generates $1,700 to $1,800 in sales per square foot, but could do four times that amount based on pre-Sept. 11, 2001, volumes at luxury stores in the area. He also said volumes will be lifted considering there is about 20,000 square feet of vacant space, providing room for another two luxury stores, and that the property will be marketed more intensively, particularly to international tourists.

A restaurant and retailers selling upscale-wedding-related gifts and products might also be added because Honolulu is a popular wedding and honeymoon spot. Gucci and Chanel each have flagships exceeding 18,000 square feet and with 25-year leases.

The two-year-old center is in the heart of Honolulu’s Waikiki retail and hotel district, near the Hawaiian Convention Center and about four miles from the giant Ala Moana mall, which has several of the same tenants. “To my knowledge, there has been no cannibalization of sales,” Siegel said.

Aside from the high rate of sales, the center is distinguished by its architecture. The tenants all have three levels and individual exterior and interior designs creating an appearance of independent buildings, and an understated, elegant streetscape. The stores also have balconies overlooking the water.

Metropole and Heller are on a luxury kick, having acquired 325-329 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills last spring.

“Waikiki is in a club of limited luxury retail destinations ideally suited to our portfolio,” said Melvin Heller, ceo and principal of Heller Properties. “We continue to be interested in further acquisitions on New York’s Fifth and Madison Avenues, Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, San Francisco’s Union Square and Boston’s Newbury Street, among others.”“While 2100 Kalakaua Avenue could technically be considered a shopping center, it has the appearance of a Madison Avenue street of independent townhouse boutiques,” said Mathias Guerrand-Hermes, an investment adviser and an officer of Metropole. He added that there are 35,000 hotel rooms in the Waikiki district that turn over about every four days, generating an influx of 70,000 new shoppers at least once per week.

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