It floats as an air of abandonment on this large unoccupied vessel moored to the 28-30, quai Austerlitz, Paris. Behind the facade of the great green Grasshopper ready to plunge into the river Seine, the French Institute of fashion is less than a quarter of Docks in Seine, this space built on the site of the old general stores. Innovation of the team of architects Jakob and MacFarlane was not enough to satisfy. Behind the glass and metal tubes lit each night, were expected a restaurant, shops of clothing or contemporary furniture, to radiate the creation. One-third of these 15,000 m2devait open at major cultural events, walks allowed the Parisians on the terraces in balcony on the River, in the fall of 2008. Since then There is nothing. 1907-Reinforced concrete constructions renovated by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) for EUR 40 million are still almost empty. Bad location Error in marketing Design A little of the three without doubt. "Are we promised major brands as Apple Store, in fact, only the franchisees were ready to come." "The idea was more ambitious than a conventional commercial gallery," regret Jean-Michel Grau, a detached time in the Office of the Mayor of Paris in an attempt to restore the vessel afloat. It also left him. First managed by teams of Icade, the file was recovered by the CDC and the city.
"I had very good candidates, but the folder was not," one of the commercialisatrices remembers. The rentals requested in 2008 by Manager were too high - 280 and 1,200 euros per square metre - for a district badly identified by Parisians as by tourists. Attracting businesses is still difficult for the developer of the neighbouring district of Paris-left bank forced to sell off surfaces in foot of buildings to attract and fix the signs. "Spaces were proposed crude, traders wishing to move should all develop at their own expense, these are considerable investments", explains a Restorer, a concerned. These "cold shells", should be proposed in the trade jargon, "hot" in the new configuration, scheduled for the summer 2010 but again delayed by several months.
In the meantime, events are organized, the conventions of major groups, fashion shows... Exhibitions of Designers's Day in June. "Already go up there, commented a used of these shows." And then the room is low ceiling that the Dummies cogneraient ceiling if it took a podium. "" He did not hoist sized for the location, deplores a critic, to imagine major shows. "Content theorized several months ago by Jean-Michel Grau is still not very clear:"restaurants for students rather than a gourmet at 150 euros breakfast, a bookshop, a Starbucks coffee perhaps, ephemeral shops... ". ", enumerates, without any further qualification, because nothing has yet been signed.
The design store Silvera in any case threw the sponge and preferred to open a shop at the foot of the Hotel Marriott, avenue de Wagram in the 8earrondissement. Perrine Houdoux Stoclet, the newly appointed COO, promises that the place will soon open to all.