When it comes to Beverly Hills, Barneys New York figures bigger is better.
The upscale Manhattan clothier will open a 7,500-square-foot boutique in Costa Mesa's South Coast Plaza early next year as part of a joint venture with Japanese retailer Isetan for 30 small stores across the country by 1994.
But when the retailer swoops into fashionable Beverly Hills in 1993, it will be in quarters more than 10 times as large.
Robert L. Pressman, executive vice president of Barneys New York and a grandson of the man who founded the store in 1923, said Wednesday that the company plans a 100,000-square-foot store at 9570-84 Wilshire Boulevard, a block west of Rodeo Drive and across the street from Saks Fifth Avenue.
Pressman would not disclose the price of the site, which has two parking lots and two buildings that include an office of American Savings and the former offices of Progressive Savings. According to real estate sources, the Pressmans are still in escrow on the property and will be leasing an unspecified portion that they are not buying outright.
Pressman said his family plans to spend "tens of millions of dollars" to convert the space to house Barneys and "several hundred" parking spaces. The store will be evenly split between men's and women's clothes and accessories.
Beverly Hills was picked because it was "important to be in a community we felt comfortable in," Pressman said. Barneys operates a 170,000-square-foot flagship store in the Chelsea section of Manhattan and a 10,000-square-foot location near Wall Street that cater to professionals.
Shoppers from Beverly Hills and the rest of the Los Angeles area make up the company's second-largest customer base, after New Yorkers.