Investment Fund May Restore Harrods Buenos Aires to Former Retail Glory

An abandoned retail icon could get new life and celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2014.

An abandoned BA retail icon could get new life and celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2014.

Omnia Omnibus Ubique…etiam Buenos Aires?  One of the world’s most famous luxury department stores may soon reopen its landmark Buenos Aires location if a UK investment group purchases and restores the seven-story Harrods building at Florida Street and Cordoba Avenue, according to Alfredo Sainz at La Nacion.

While London-based Harrods is best known for luxury retail, real estate, private banking and aviation services in the UK, the company opened Harrods Buenos Aires in March 1914 which was the most traditional department store in the city for eight decades until closing its doors in the late 90’s. Now those doors could re-open in time for the 100th anniversary of the original grand opening.

Sainz says UK asset management firm Optimum Advisors is finishing due diligence on the purchase and restoration of the BA retail icon, a deal valued at US$280 million. Local market conditions including near-100% occupancy at BA shopping centers and the voracious retail appetite of Brazilian tourists bode well for the restoration of such a high-profile department store. The group is also negotiating for the right to take the Harrods brand to Brazil, specifically Sao Paulo.

Among its other real estate holdings, Optimum Advisors manages a residential chacra development north of Jose Ignacio and an Agribusiness Fund with farmland in Arkansas and Argentina. (Full Story in Spanish)

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