Group Aims to Scuttle Samaritaine Project

A Paris association is contesting the construction permit to renovate the landmark department store.

PARIS — An application to suspend Samaritaine’s construction permit is to be examined by the Paris administrative court on April 4.

An association called Société pour la protection des paysages et de l’esthétique de la France (Society for the Protection of France’s landscapes and aesthetics, in English) is contesting the construction permit that LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton had received in 2012 from the City of Paris to renovate the landmark department store, shuttered since 2005 because of safety concerns.

According to sources familiar with the matter, there is little chance the association could scuttle the project, with demolition of part of the complex — which takes up an entire city block — already well advanced.

In July 2013, the Paris administrative court had dismissed an earlier appeal of the association. On March 5, the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest administrative court, also rejected the order and sent it back to administrative court.

LVMH declined to comment on the procedure.

LVMH is to invest more than 450 million euros, or $626.3 million at current exchange, in the Samaritaine site.

The Samaritaine department store, a stone’s throw from the Louvre museum, was founded in 1870. LVMH acquired a majority stake in it in 2000.