La Samaritaine, the historic department store located in the First Arrondissement of Paris, has faced its fare share of highs and lows during its lengthy life. The building and its businesses were at their height during the era of Art Nouveau and Art Deco, but since the 1970s the once lustrous La Samaritaine has seen a steady decline. In 2005 the building was closed due to concerns about safety code violations, and for the past decade its future has remained uncertain. Attempts to renovate La Samaritaine and bring it into the 21st century have been hampered by disagreements.
French luxury brand LVMH, which currently owns La Samaritaine, has been pushing to have the department store redeveloped into a combination of offices and apartments with a small retail component. On Tuesday, LVMH announced that they would be opening a 3D showcase that outlines their plans for renovating La Samaritaine. The showcase will use virtual reality platforms to create a tour of the future property.
The new structure is expected to contain 280,000 square feet of retail space, as well as a luxury hotel, 95 units of affordable housing, and 215,000 square feet of office space. LVMH states that the project, which will cost roughly half-a-billion US dollars, will both directly and indirectly lead to the creation of thousands of new jobs, both during its three-year construction period and after its official opening. The project is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.