Beverly Hills Courier – Planning approves French restaurant Dior on Rodeo Dr. — Beverly Hills Courier
BY Matthew Blake September 15, 2022
Reading time: 3 minutes
The city of Beverly Hills has given the green light to a three-story Christian Dior building on North Rodeo Drive with a new ride for the famous fashion brand – a rooftop restaurant intended to woo celebrities.
The Beverly Hills Planning Commission on September 8 approved, by a 4-0 vote, a retail and restaurant development at 319-323 North Rodeo Drive. Commissioner Peter Ostroff was not present during the vote.
The project applicant is a limited liability company, 319-323 N. Rodeo LLC, which is associated with Dior’s parent company, LVHM Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. Dior and LVHM each have their headquarters in Paris.
The sleek expansion of the 319-323 N. Rodeo Drive site follows LVHM’s development of the Cheval Blanc Hotel, which is planned at the corner of Rodeo Drive and South Santa Monica Boulevard. Architect Peter Marino designs both projects.
In addition to Marino, LVHM will work with Los Angeles-based planning and design firm Gruen & Associates to raze the site’s current Dior retail building, according to documents presented to the Planning Commission.
In its place, a 29,700-square-foot, 60-foot-tall building is slated for construction.
Included are two retail floors that the plaintiff considered the “west coast flagship” for the Christian Dior company. The retail space “will feature the latest in men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, timepieces, fine jewelry, fragrances and accessories,” according to the developer’s filing with the city.
The third-floor restaurant “will serve French cuisine and French pastries” from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, with the name of the restaurant undetermined. The rooftop local’s ambitions go beyond serving frog legs and onion soup.
“The rooftop space will be used for exceptional personalized service for Very Important Customers (VICs) and special events and launches,” the filing said.
These include “private events for limited special product launches”, as well as “personal appointments with celebrities and VICs organized by the Dior team in preparation for special events, such as film festivals and price reductions”.
During an hour-long deliberation on the project, commissioners did not focus on the rooftop parties, although Commission Vice-Chairman Gary Ross noted it was the first time that Christian Dior would enter the restaurant business.
Instead, the commissioners led by Jeff Wolfe, sought to better understand the parking lot of the building.
Municipal law stipulates that such a project requires 89 parking spaces. But the plaintiff provided five surface parking spaces and one level of underground parking which includes 29 spaces. The facility will include a hydraulic lift allowing valets to stack cars on top of each other.
The applicant proposed that additional spaces for cyclists as well as parking structures at 9510 North Brighton Way and 345 North Beverly Drive would provide sufficient parking options.
Ashok Vanmali, partner at Gruen Associates, explained that valets will handle parking, including moving cars off site. Wolfe and others expressed concern about congestion on Rodeo Drive and whether there would be enough valets.
While approving the project, Wolfe pledged to monitor the parking situation.
Planning Commission Chair, Myra Demeter, also inquired about parking, but remarked to the applicant, “You have already been very adaptable to our suggestions.
Indeed, LVHM appeared several times before the Planning Commission from March to June in order to iron out traffic problems concerning the nine-storey, 115-room Cheval Blanc. As for the Dior project, it could lead to a sale of land. A company with LVHM’s New York office address purchased part of the property in 2012 for $85 million, according to public records.
Another portion of the land is owned by Beverly Hills Properties III LLC, a company registered by Anthony Palermo, a real estate investor with a business address in Sherman Oaks.
Under an agreement between the owners, LVHM leases land to Beverly Hills Properties, with an option to purchase the property. The LVHM entity has not decided whether or not to buy the land it currently leases on the project site, according to Deborah Quick, a lawyer at Perkins Coie who advises developers.