Venice’s Abbot Kinney Boulevard is famous for the assortment of unique boutiques and eateries lining its eight blocks. Many are independent brands, such as clothing designer Open the Kimono or All Things Fabulous, which manufactures clothes downtown.
But several chains have taken up residence in recent years, including Toms Shoes, Warby Parker, Roots and, most recently, a tenant with a massive global footprint: Adidas America Inc.
The retail unit of Germany-based Adidas AG plans to open a store there on July 13, Adidas spokeswoman Maria Culp said. The venue would add to the shoemaker’s 2,686 retail outlets worldwide, according to a company filing.
The space at 1349 Abbot Kinney is roughly 6,000 square feet and slated to be a showcase for the “Adidas Original” concept, said the landlord’s leasing broker, Newmark Knight Frank Vice Chairman Jay Luchs.
Some locals have voiced concern that Adidas could usher in a flood of corporate tenants willing to pay high rents and make it tough for smaller competitors to keep up.
Luchs said he doesn’t anticipate sweeping changes.
“There’s no way it’s going to be followed by 10 companies that are going to push out tenants,” he said, noting that the retail industry in general is in a state of flux, with a number of big and long-standing chains feeling as much heat as anyone.
Monthly rents on the boulevard range from $14 to $16 a square foot, said Luchs, who declined to provide the rate for the Adidas space.
He also noted that the landlord, New York-based KLM Construction Corp., shunned higher rent offers from other prospective tenants, opting for Adidas as the best match for Abbot Kinney’s existing retail mix.
George Francisco, president of the Venice Chamber of Commerce, said he has a neutral viewpoint on the types of stores coming to Venice.
“As long as you’re promoting active street life, I think it’s positive,” he said. “What’s not positive is where you take street activity and close it down.”
Adidas might have started off on the wrong foot with locals when it mounted a sign declaring “Defining Venice” – taken as a slap in the face by some residents and business owners in the area, where locals have long nurtured Venice’s funky, independent vibe.
Shortly after, someone changed the sign to read “Defiling Venice,” Melanie Camp, editor of Venice newspaper Yo! Venice, said via email. The edit, she said, “pretty much sums up how neighbors feel about the arrival of any chain store.”
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