BLOOMINGDALE'S CLOSE TO CALIF. SITE

Byline: Jean E. Palmieri

NEW YORK--Bloomingdale's chairman and chief executive officer, Michael Gould, said Thursday that he's "hopeful we'll make a deal" for the chain's first California store, in Beverly Hills, on Beverly and Canon Drives.
Gould added that he expects to bring the cachet of the 59th Street flagship to the Beverly Hills unit.
Gould confirmed a report that the retailer has made a presentation to the planning commission in Beverly Hills and is "cautiously optimistic" that the project will be approved.
As reported, Bloomingdale's is negotiating to open a four-story, 240,000-square-foot store in the posh shopping district.
The store is waiting to purchase the remaining parcel of land in the proposed 2 1/2 acre site. The final sale of the property is expected shortly, at which point Bloomingdale's will file a formal proposal with the city for approval on the store site.
Gould, who was attending a National Conference of Christians and Jews luncheon here Thursday, noted that the company is still in negotiations.
Bloomingdale's opted to build from the ground up instead of buying an existing site because there's no building appropriate to take over, Gould said.
"We're still tinkering with the plans, but we're going to bring as much of 59th Street there as possible except newer and brighter," Gould said.
If approved, the Bloomingdale's store would go head-to-head with Barneys New York, about three blocks away on Wilshire Boulevard.

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