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The Collection at Chevy Chase Raises Profile

The Collection at Chevy Chase, the first luxury retail enclave set for metro Washington, has signed on four more high-profile tenants.

NEW YORK — The Collection at Chevy Chase, the first luxury retail enclave in the metro Washington area, has signed on four more high-profile tenants, practically completing the leasing for the soon-to-open complex.

Jimmy Choo will take a 1,670-square-foot space next to Tiffany, while Gucci has taken a two-level, 4,390-square-foot space next to Louis Vuitton.

Georgette Klinger is taking 6,475 square feet on the second floor and Bulgari has signed on for a 4,015-square-foot, two-level space on the south end of the north building.

“This really fulfills our vision of a collection of top-tier tenants between Saks and Neiman’s. This is the Rodeo Drive of the East,” said Edward Hall Asher, president and chief operating officer of The Chevy Chase Land Co., which owns and manages The Collection at Chevy Chase. For the first time in Washington, there is “a critical mass” of luxury retailing, he added.

“We are 100 percent leased except for the third floor, which will be used for a restaurant, and/or a gallery,” said Larry Horton, a leasing consultant to the project.

Other tenants previously signed on include Christian Dior, Max Mara, Cartier, Barneys Co-op and Polo/Ralph Lauren. Some stores will open beginning this month, but the grand opening for The Collection at Chevy Chase will be in February.

The complex is composed of two buildings, one with two stories and more than 40,000 square feet; the other with three stories and more than 60,000 square feet. They are situated between Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. The Collection at Chevy Chase is located at 5471-5481 Wisconsin Avenue, and is on the border of Washington and Chevy Chase, Md. Next to the luxury buildings is a 200,000-square-foot mixed-use building that will house Mills Corp.’s new headquarters in spring 2006 and include 100,000 square feet of neighborhood retailers.

Horton said the tenants should exceed $1,000 in sales per square foot. Tenants pay about $150 a square foot, which Horton said was a new high for retail rents in Washington.

“We expect many people in Washington who now go to New York to shop to come here,” Horton said, noting the complex has 1,400 parking spaces, trees and a sculpture garden.

This story first appeared in the October 11, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Francesco Trapani, chief executive officer of Bulgari Group, in a statement characterized the center as a “natural fit for our prestigious brand.” The center is being designed by the architectural firm Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum.

Many luxury firms have been reluctant to invest in Washington, considering its reputation as a conservative area for politicians and diplomats, with little interest in designer fashion. There’s also been a lack of real estate venues with the appropriate trappings and amenities where designer brands would feel comfortable coming together.

However, lately there has been strong interest in Georgetown, with Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus eyeing sites, according to real estate sources. There is also a smattering of designer stores in such places as Tysons Corner in McLean, Va., as well as in Georgetown.