High-end US retailer heading to Chapel St
AMERICAN homewares group Williams-Sonoma has chosen Chapel Street, South Yarra, for its Melbourne flagship store.
It is only the second corporate-run outlet outside North America for the high-end retailer, with the first shop to open shortly in Bondi Junction's new Exchange Building.
Williams-Sonoma Inc, which operates under the four main brands Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and west elm, is set to occupy the prominent spot held by fashion retailer, Politix.
A spokeswoman for Williams-Sonoma in Australia confirmed that a Melbourne-based store would open in the second half of 2013 under the west elm brand but declined to comment on the specific location.
Council documents show the company is expecting to spend $2 million modifying and upgrading the building at 464-466 Chapel Street, next door to popular nightspot Bridie O'Reilly's and close to the first Topshop outlet in Australia.
The double-storey Victorian building has a heritage overlay, with mooted plans to change the signage and lift over-run believed to be causing concerns with Stonnington council. The planning application has not yet been approved.
Rents for the 800-square-metre tenancy are expected to be around $780 per sq m. The deal is believed to have been negotiated by CBRE's Max Cookes, who declined to comment. Design firm Geyer, which is representing Williams-Sonoma with the council, did not respond to request for comment.
The Bondi Junction store will occupy more than 2000 square metres.
A 57-year-old listed company, Williams-Sonoma is worth about $4.5 billion and operates more than 570 stores in the US, Canada and Puerto Rico, with more than a dozen franchise outlets in the Middle East.
The two-kilometre Chapel Street strip remains one of the city's best performing precincts, with vacancy at only 4.2 per cent in the September quarter, according to Knight Frank.