Escada Recoleta

As more Europeans head for the exits, Chinese investors are happy to scoop up premium propiedades in BA.

The new Spring/Summer collections were recently unveiled at Buenos Aires Fashion Week, but one prominent German designers’ former Recoleta digs will have a decidedly more pedestrian look and feel for 2013.

Like Zegna, Hermes, Ralph and Louis; Munich-based Escada pulled out of Buenos Aires earlier this year leaving a prime boutique at Alvear 1444 vacant and available for aspiring fashionistas to showcase their designs. Yet, the building’s new tenant will be featuring more carne and queso than couture.

Much to the dismay of some Recoleta neighbors, a Chinese grocery will soon open in the former Escada location, which is more a sign of the times than a fashion emergency. Over 2,000 Chinese groceries can now be found in barrios throughout Capital Federal, but the new chino de Alvear will be the first such high-profile location in Recoleta.

The Alvear opening reflects the growing leverage and purchasing power of industrious Chinese grocery and other business owners in Argentina. According to Ambito.com, the Chinese owner reportedly paid US$1.5 million cash for the site, and more autoservicios chinos are on the horizon in BA’s toniest barrios including Puerto Madero where the chinos will look to siphon business away from the new Jumbo Puerto Madero.

Ambito says Chinese investors bought another prime grocery location next to the Sheraton Libertador from a Belgian family looking to liquidate their holdings in Argentina. With more Europeans scrambling for the exits, Chinese companies like petro giant Sinopec are more than happy to scoop up premium propiedades like their new office in Puerto Madero and several downtown apartments they just snatched up for their top executives. (Full Story in Spanish)

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