Robinson's May Beverly Hills closing this winter

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Robinson's May Beverly Hills closing this winter

Postby lasvegaslynn » Fri Nov 11, 2005 3:50 pm

Here's the article from today's LA Times. Maybe Adler Realty would like to move their proposed Los Feliz project to this site instead. From these two quotes:
"It's a great opportunity for significant development at a gateway site."

"the redevelopment of the property will be a reflection of the standards and values for which Beverly Hills is known throughout the world.""

it sounds like it would fit in just fine. :D

LA Times Business Section 11/11/05:

The landmark Robinsons-May store in Beverly Hills will close next spring, Federated Department Stores Inc. said Thursday in announcing that it would terminate its lease.

The 8-acre parcel at Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards is considered one of the most attractive potential redevelopment sites in Southern California, and Beverly Hills officials expect to see a new commercial and residential project built there.

It's one of the last few underdeveloped properties in the city," said Mahdi Aluzri, director of community development. "It's a great opportunity for significant development at a gateway site."

A city planning committee has recommended that the property be made over with a substantial project that would be compatible in scale with the Beverly Hilton Hotel next door.

The owner of the store property, New Pacific Realty Corp. of Beverly Hills, may unveil its plans for the site next month and begin the construction entitlement process, Aluzri said.

New Pacific said in a statement that the Federated announcement "creates the opportunity to focus our plans on the redevelopment of the property" and that the project "will be a reflection of the standards and values for which Beverly Hills is known throughout the world."

The 240,000-square-foot store at 9900 Wilshire Blvd. was a sensation when it opened in 1952 as a high-end Robinsons. The $6-million structure boasted travertine stone from Peru, rose marble from Portugal, black granite from Brazil and rosewood from Madagascar. :(

Federated previously said it would close at least 28 other locations in Southern California as part of its $11-billion acquisition of May Department Stores Co., operator of Robinsons-May.

Most workers will be shifted to other stores, Cincinnati-based Federated said. It has 152 employees in Beverly Hills. :
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Shoppers of the world unite

Postby khummer » Fri Nov 11, 2005 9:09 pm

This is another SAD story.

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Robinsons May

Postby lasvegaslynn » Sat Nov 12, 2005 3:14 pm

Khummer,

Yes, it is a sad story. I probably should not have made light of it in the beginning of my post but Thursday evening at the Derby public meeting, the crowd kept pointing out to Adler and Co that their proposed project was much better suited for Beverly Hills.

And then, Friday's Times points out that the gateway property will soon be available....


I loved that Robinsons, by the way. That one and the one downtown were my two favorite Robinsons to shop at. But that was many years ago before RM started filling all their available aisle space with more racks of clothing. I doubt this sold more clothes, just made trying to shop more irriatating.

Wasn't Blair's across the street from the Downtown Robinson's once upon a time?

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Macy's started the trend

Postby khummer » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:00 pm

Macy's started the trend of packing all those things into a small space, and again, it really caused visual overload. I am so glad the Pasadena Macy's has a few more bodies in it these days.

Don't know about Blair's.

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Postby Tony » Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:36 pm

Wasn't this designed by Charles Luckman?

I would expect that all those exotic materials will end up in a dumpster.

But then, what does Beverly Hills care about it's history? A city that has commissioned numerous Historic Site Surveys, even though it does not have a Preservation Ordinance. Municipal masterbation, I guess.

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Re: Robinsons May

Postby sky » Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:24 pm

lasvegaslynn wrote:Wasn't Blair's across the street from the Downtown Robinson's once upon a time?

Blairs! (Yum.) I remember it being one block east of Broadway Plaza. I don’t really remember Robinsons there. I certainly spent more time consuming chocolate sundaes than shopping there.

I saw the King Tut exhibit at the old May Company on Fairfax last weekend. Maybe that’s the trend; maybe they should find another old relic to live in the Robinsons. Considering the location, it could become a condo made of stone-a for Merv Griffin. (No offense intended, Merv.)

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Postby greenbot » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:30 pm

I remember during the holidays they would hang a gorgeous oversized sparkling star ornament on that spacious front wall. When coming eastbound into Beverly Hills from Westwood, my brothers and I would have so much fun every year waiting to see if 'THE STAR' had been put up yet. I haven’t seen that star for years? Is it just that I'm too far east these days or was it retired long ago? I know Beverly Hills retired that life sized Santa in his sleigh being whooshed over Wishire by his reindeer, and that giant two-story candy cane leaning against Wilson's House of Suede. All of those decorations would return year after year I WANT MY 1970'S CHRISTMAS BACK!!

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Postby Futura Girl » Mon Nov 14, 2005 2:55 pm

ARGGG - this is one of the architectural gems of beverly hills...

doen't know anyone in BH who can at least make sure it is properly documented?
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Postby SkipHome » Tue Nov 15, 2005 3:45 pm

TM wrote:Wasn't this designed by Charles Luckman?

I would expect that all those exotic materials will end up in a dumpster.

But then, what does Beverly Hills care about it's history? A city that has commissioned numerous Historic Site Surveys, even though it does not have a Preservation Ordinance. Municipal masterbation, I guess.

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I'm pretty sure it was designed by William Perreira...

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Postby lasvegaslynn » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:44 pm

Today's LA Times Business section has an article with drawings and renderings of what the developers want to put on that corner.

Condo Developers Make Environmental Pitch
By Roger Vincent, Times Staff Writer

Plans for a $500-million luxury condominium project in Beverly Hills involving celebrity architects, public gardens and an environmentally friendly design were unveiled by developers Tuesday.

The long-awaited proposal for the Robinsons-May site near the intersection of Wilshire and Santa Monica boulevards calls for two 12-story buildings, a two-story building containing town houses and two four-story loft buildings situated around landscaped gardens.

There also would be a one-story building along Santa Monica Boulevard for a high-end restaurant and a few shops.

Only a few details of the proposed 252-unit condo and retail project had leaked out before developers David Margulies and Arnold Rosenstein of New Pacific Realty made a presentation to Beverly Hills city officials Tuesday.

Addressing the concerns of nearby residents, they said the project would not increase traffic congestion at the busy intersection, and that the tall buildings wouldn't cast shadows over neighboring houses, darken the playground at a nearby school or kill the grass at the Los Angeles Country Club.

Federated Department Stores Inc. decided last month to terminate its lease and close the Robinsons-May store in the spring, clearing the way for New Pacific Realty to move forward with its plan to build on the eight acres next to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

New Pacific Realty bought the property from Equitable Life Assurance Society in 2003. The parcel had been pursued by several prominent builders, including Donald Trump.

"It's one of the last few underdeveloped properties in the city," said Mahdi Aluzri, Beverly Hills' director of community development, in a recent interview. "It's a great opportunity for significant development at a gateway site."

A city planning committee recommended that the department store be replaced with a project that would be similar in scale to the hotel.

The restaurant and a few shops would provide "just enough retail to support the residents," Margulies said. "We're not trying to create a shopping destination."

Margulies, a former partner in Apollo Real Estate Advisors, said the project would be privately funded. Before joining New Pacific, Rosenstein developed 2,000 apartments and office buildings, Maple Plaza in Beverly Hills and World Savings Center in Brentwood.

New Pacific's largest previous project was the acquisition and redevelopment of Transamerica Center in downtown Los Angeles in partnership with Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund.

New York architect Richard Meier, one of the nation's best-known building designers, described the style envisioned for the Beverly Hills project as modern.

Meier's designs include the Getty Center museum in West L.A. and high-rise condos in New York. Philadelphia landscape architect Laurie D. Olin, who created the Getty gardens, designed the outdoor spaces, which would include waterscapes and sculpture gardens.

The developers said they intended to apply for a gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. If the council approves, 9900 Wilshire could be the first condominium project in the West to win such a designation for meeting environmental standards on energy efficiency, water use, construction methods and other factors.

The developers have also attempted to address simmering community concerns such as traffic and building shadows that could provoke opposition to their project. With more than 1,000 residential units planned or being developed in the area, many residents fear gridlock.

Traffic studies paid for by New Pacific found that its project would generate no more daily car trips than Robinsons-May does now.

Condos would range in size from 1,200 to 7,500 square feet. Prices won't be set until the project is closer to being built. Top-end condos in Beverly Hills now run more than $2 million.

Tuesday's unveiling marks the beginning of an approval process that could take two or three years, Margulies said, and the project could change to meet the demands of the city and community.

"The situation is the same everywhere," said developer Jerry Snyder, who recently completed a nearby apartment and office complex. "People are concerned about the usual problems: traffic, traffic and traffic."

New Pacific hopes to garner endorsements from environmental groups and has received a nod from the Natural Resources Defense Council. Ashok Gupta of the resources council said he hoped that a successful development built to gold rating standards would encourage other developers to pursue green building practices.



"Just enough retail to support the residents" Gotta love that quote.

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Postby Tony » Wed Dec 07, 2005 2:14 pm

Skip,

You are correct, it was designed by William Perreira, not Charles Luckman as I had thought.

And the interiors were originally by Ramond Lowey!

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Postby nredom » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:33 am

Did I miss it, or is there no mention of any adaptive re-use attempt to incorporate the historic building or any parts of it into the new development?

Will this be a new trend: obliterating history and planning way out of scale is o.k. if the new development is "green." Developers can quiet community opposition if they propose "green" developments, and then can get away with making them that much larger.

Does "green" planning take into account the lifestyles of the future residents? The residents of this project will likely be the most non-green consumers around, driving their Lexuses in and out to go shopping on Rodeo Drive. Or did I also miss the part about a number of affordable units being included in the plan?

I hope the LAC/Modcom launches an opposition to this plan. After all it's Beverly Hills, and they have no regard for history, so what is there to lose?

"...celebrity architects, public gardens and an environmentally friendly design..." Red flag, red flag and red flag.

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Postby SDR » Fri Dec 09, 2005 5:47 pm

Note that Roger Vincent (LA Times Staff Writer) doesn't actually SAY that Richard Meier (". . .one of the nation's best-known building designers. . .") will be the architect of the project; he (Meier) is simply quoted to the effect that the style will be. . ."modern."

Or could this be the "new editing" that one finds in large city papers now: names crop up in the middle of articles, unidentified and with no previous mention. . .

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Postby nichols » Mon Dec 12, 2005 4:42 pm

I noticed Meier's office in the photo credits, so they must have generated those renderings and the project must be theirs...


I also did some reconnaissance work down at the site and, boy, those interiors are long gone. The only thing worth even noting is the top floor has a great view of the Beverly Hilton, some remnants of outdoor dining (canvas and rope dividers) some large pottery in disrepair, an archeological "Beauty Shop" glue fragment above the salon doors and the old floor indicators in the elevator listing departments on each floor...

On the other hand, the exteriors are perfect and amazing. Almost completely untouched and lovely.

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Postby Steve Carras » Mon Jan 02, 2006 12:46 am

That store looks like the 1948 Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw one and IIRC was bujilt by A.C.Martin. (And is about as old,.,)

I'm new here, and live in Whittier, CALIF., just a few blocks from the landmark (IMO!) "Whittier Qusd"! with a 1960s May Colthru 1980s (thanks to being felled by a quake..not that the store was doing business much..had a bargain basement..)

Oh well, we still have that 1946 Sears in Santa Monica!

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Postby Lynxwiler » Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:42 pm

There's not much of an interior to miss at the 9900 Wilshire location, but the exterior is quite cool. Most notable but possibly overlooked are the R-shaped door handles. Robinson's!

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even drug addicts need well dressed wives

Postby losfeliz » Tue Feb 07, 2006 7:34 pm

This is *awfully* obscure but Saturday night at LACMA I just viewed Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life (1956) in which James Mason plays a diseased schoolteacher who gets all hopped up on a new wonder drug, cortisone, and one of the bad side effects is a whirlwind shopping spree for his pretty wife, Barbara Rush.

I could SWEAR it was shot at that Robinson's ... ????? If anyone could confirm this ....

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Re: even drug addicts need well dressed wives

Postby kentbulza » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:01 am

losfeliz wrote:This is *awfully* obscure but Saturday night at LACMA I just viewed Nicholas Ray's Bigger than Life (1956) in which James Mason plays a diseased schoolteacher who gets all hopped up on a new wonder drug, cortisone, and one of the bad side effects is a whirlwind shopping spree for his pretty wife, Barbara Rush.

I could SWEAR it was shot at that Robinson's ... ????? If anyone could confirm this ....


Yup! That was the Robinson's. You could see the Beverly Hilton in the background. In the movie they call the store Martyn's.

Did you also catch the process shots of them driving down Wilshire?

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chic, but addicted

Postby losfeliz » Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:23 am

Kent I didn't catch the Wilshire shots ... but forgive me for beaming with pride that I caught Robinson's ... perhaps the fashion maven in me? XXOO Debra L. For those who do not know the film, James Mason kind of pushes his modest wife to shop at a fancy-schmancy lady's shop (Martyn's -- ever so much fancier spelling than Martin's). The set-up is what we hear so often was the standard at the time, models freely circulating in outfits, like --- the opposite of the pig-sty rack approach we are used to today. XXOO DL

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Postby darkamor » Thu Feb 23, 2006 4:06 am

WOW - I never thought that Robinsons location in Beverly Hills would be going, going, g-o-n-e [where will people in that area go shopping besides those pathetic boutiques on Rodeo Dr. ?] I guess people don't care about Department Stores anymore :roll:

That reminds me what I keep hearing about the BLVD MALL here in VEGAS ..

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Postby Vavala » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:37 pm

From this month's Westside Today:

9900 Wilshire Says "Goodbye" to Ronbinsons-May and "Hello" to Luxury Condos

The Beverly Hills Robinsons-May at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard will be closed this spring in order to make room for 252 luxury condominium residences. With a plan for the condos to be the "premiere residential address in the west," New Pacific Realty Corporation has hired architect Richard Meier, known for his work on the Getty Museum and Avery Fisher Hall in the Lincoln Center in New York, to design the project.

Meier's design will cover one-third of the eight-acre site, with a majority of the property being designated for landscaped gardens. Landscape architect Lauren D. Olin, from the Olin Partnership will be designing the gardens, though most of the site will be open green space. The design also includes a 1/2 acre public garden along Wilshire Boulevard.

In response to claims the project will increase traffic, David Margulies (CEO), and Arnold Rosenstein (Chairman) say that their plan for 9900 Wilshire is traffic neutral, environmentally responsible, and it serves as a steady source of revenue. They also contend that it fills a residential need for Beverly Hills residents. A website, http://www.9900wilshire.com is now available so residents may explore the project in further detail.

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Postby losfeliz » Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:58 pm

Well that is bloody sad.

It's going to be a gorgeous project and I am sure le tout Beverly Hills will stampede over each other to get in the door.

Not one salty tear will be shed for Robby's.

I note in developer's website the "community buy in" document posted up there -- as well as the self congratulatory environment hoo-haw that all but covers the accidental side effect of making a (sizeable) buck. Adler et al should take note how the big boys do it.

It's the slickest steam roller money can buy.

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Postby nichols » Mon Jul 10, 2006 12:20 pm

Disturbing that the LA Citybeat characterizes the condo project as an "adaptive reuse" - that indicates you are adaptively reusing something. This is a total teardown.

"...the adaptive reuse overhaul of the Robinsons-May department store at the Beverly Hilton.."

http://lacitybeat.com/article.php?id=3989&IssueNum=161

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Postby nichols » Sun Mar 15, 2009 10:33 pm

LOS ANGELES TIMES

LOST L.A.
Robinsons-May Beverly Hills: A shopping icon that may drop

When it debuted with a modern design in 1952, it was a trip to the future. Now two developers own the store and plans for it are uncertain.

By SAM WATTERS
March 14, 2009

Lost L.A. unearths something that's buried in history. It tells stories of buildings that have been razed, burned or renovated into extinction. Developers often cause these wipeouts, explaining them away as the price of progress. Translation: the cost of greed.

The progress of profit is on the move again, but this time you can see the victim -- the former Robinsons-May building in Beverly Hills -- before it's rubble...

http://www.latimes.com/features/printed ... 8314.story

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Postby ChrisLAXEncounter » Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:54 pm

Wow! That property is far to expensive to be vacant, but with the global credit crisis, this project seems stalled, just like Grand Avenue.

It would be nice if another retailer would use it in the short-term.

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Postby Lynxwiler » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:52 pm

Funny you should mention it, but Julien's Auctions is moving into the old Robinson's space with an auction preview exhibition for the Michael Jackson Estate sale. They don't mention the location by its old name, but by the address, 9900 Wilshire.

They'll take over the entire ground floor of the property to display over two thousand pieces of Michael Jackson's furniture, artwork, clothing, memorabilia, arcade games, Disneyana, etc. The display at the old Robinson's will open in mid April and run for one week before the auction.

www.juliensauctions.com — for more info.

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Postby nichols » Sun Mar 22, 2009 9:52 am

and then in June it becomes CA Boom

http://www.caboomshow.com/

Anybody have an idea for a ModCom installation there? We've been offered space...

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Postby egads » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:42 pm

How about an extensive layout of how wonderfully the Pasadena Bullocks' was restored?

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Postby nichols » Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:53 am


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Postby Lynxwiler » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:25 pm

Perhaps a retrospective of Wayne McAllister? If only there were enough resources, photographs or perhaps a book on the topic...


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