SUNSET PLAZA TO EXPAND

Byline: Teena Hammond

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Sunset Plaza is planning a 12,000-to-15,000-square-foot expansion next year, bringing in a new crop of designer shops, including Vivienne Tam, D&G and possibly Anna Sui, and relocating other tenants.
A Sui spokeswoman said Sui is in “final negotiations” for space, but would not confirm reports that the lease would be for 1,000 square feet at 8669 Sunset Boulevard.
The Sunset Plaza retail complex now occupies 90,000 square feet and runs along Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. Current tenants include H Lorenzo, H by Lorenzo, Kenzo, Laura Urbinati, Armani A/X, Plein Sud and Tracey Ross.
“We’re trying to get higher and higher end,” said Francis Montgomery, who owns Sunset Plaza. “We’ve turned down a lot of good people.” He said he’s not seeking typical mall retailers, such as the Gap and Limited.
“We don’t want the Melrose Avenue shoppers,” he said. The mall attracts celebrities such as Nancy Reagan, Betsy Bloomingdale, Julia Roberts, Kate Moss and Anjelica Huston.
Typical rents for Sunset Plaza are $54 per square foot annually, he said.
Construction on the expansion will begin next year.
An unoccupied building at 8600 Sunset Boulevard that formerly housed the executive offices of Oliver Peoples will be razed to make room for the new construction, Montgomery said.
Darren Weinstock, of Black Equities, a real-estate investment company in Beverly Hills, inked the leases for Vivienne Tam and Tracey Ross.
“I love Sunset Plaza,” said Vivienne Tam. “I think it’s quite beautiful, along with the area. It has more open spaces. It’s high on the hill and there’s lots of good energy and people walking in the evenings.” The 1,200-square-foot store, at 8603 Sunset Boulevard will carry Tam’s full line.
The D&G unit, at 8641 Sunset Boulevard, will open in August. The store, with 1,800 square feet of selling space, is expected to pull in $2 million in sales its first year, said Alex Sarkissian, owner of the store. This is the first D&G store operated by a licensee in the U.S. The only other D&G unit is a company-owned store in New York’s SoHo. D&G is the secondary line of Dolce & Gabbana.
These will be the only Vivienne Tam and Anna Sui units in Los Angeles, although it’s not the first time Sui has operated a store in this market. Her La Brea Avenue unit closed in 1995.
At Sunset Plaza this year, the Ole Henriksen spa relocated from a prominent location at street level on Sunset Boulevard to a more discreet spot across the street, below the other stores. This didn’t affect business at the spa because it’s already a destination spot, and it gave Ole Henriksen room to expand, Montgomery explained.
“I knew we could get two lively retailers in to take [Henriksen’s] place, and we did — Phillip Press and Vivienne Tam.” Philip Press, a jeweler, moved from Beverly Boulevard to 8601 Sunset Plaza on June 13.

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