Friday, October 14, 2011
Is LVMH investing in Craig Robins? ... by gimleteye
A more critical view would include an analysis of how the economic crash seriously crimped tenants in the Design District. Although there are a few bright spots, many are struggling to survive. It is a far cry from the fever of the real estate bubble when European retailers and galleries rushed to the Design District only to fade when the bloom fell from the rose.
Hermes will be building in the Design District soon ("a blow to Bal Harbor") according to recent reports, but there is also an unconfirmed report that the largest luxury retailer in the world, LVMH, is more than a future tenant. French billionaire Bernard Arnault knows Miami casino plans are likely to move forward under a Republican legislature led by Gov. Rick Scott. Scott's first trip after being elected in 2010 was to Las Vegas. (How else to deliver his promise of 700,000 jobs but through construction for gambling?)
LVMH will inhabit prime real estate inside whatever casino materializes in Florida. That means uncertainty for the Design District. On the other hand, thanks to Brazil and other economies in South America, Miami's future is rosy as a blushing bride. If Robins did sell a significant portion of his equity to LVMH that would be another example of exquisite timing.