The Design District is best known for designer boutiques for the extremely well-heeled — Gucci, Vuitton, Tom Ford and the ultimate shoe purveyor, Christian Louboutin.
But the open-air Market at Miami Design District, announced last November for the North Miami Avenue edge of 40th Street, aims to offer retail for the rest of us. To wit: RH, the California-based interiors-and-furniture brand once known as Restoration Hardware, has signed on as the first confirmed tenant.
RH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The open-air Market at Miami Design District features 16 retail spaces currently under renovation. The project is led by Michael Comras, CEO of the Miami Beach-based commercial real estate leasing and development firm The Comras Company of Florida, and Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance. Renovations are expected to be completed by late this year.
“The arrival of RH will be transformational for our ‘village of buildings’ concept and the larger Miami Design District. This builds upon the neighborhood’s appeal as one of Miami’s premier creative shopping, dining, and cultural destinations,” Comras said by email.
RH has a retail store at Aventura Mall and an outlet at The Shops at Sunset Place. Unlike many retail brands in 2020, it exceeded sales expectations, earning $2.85 billion in sales, according to a CNBC report. Riding on a wave of success, the company plans to develop houses in Aspen as well as open stores in England and Paris — marking the retailer’s entrance into Europe.
The move to online shopping stressed brick-and-mortar retailers even prior to the pandemic — a trend that was exacerbated by the shutdown. Although COVID-19 forced thousands of stores to close for good, some shop owners are betting on a comeback as more residents get vaccinated.