Luxury European fashion houses Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and Valentino are hunting for retail space at the top of Collins Street to join Italian powerhouse Gucci, which is tripling its space at 161 Collins Street.

Gucci, owned by French luxury goods giant Kering, has signed a new lease at the base of Collins Street landmark, the T&G Building, owned by US property group Pembroke Real Estate, and is undertaking a multimillion dollar fit-out to create one of the biggest luxury stores on Collins Street.

The new store, which will lift Gucci’s presence on Collins Street from 150 square metres to around 500 sq ms and give it massive frontage on Collins Street and Russell Street, follows Pembroke undertaking a major refurbishment of the 43,000 sq m art deco classic that it bought for $275 million in December 2015.

As part of a new Bates Smart-designed retail hub being created at the base of the 10-level building, Gucci will amalgamate two stores into one by extending into what was previously the foyer of the building.

Pembroke is seeking luxury occupants for the remaining retail spaces with Yves Saint Laurent, also part of the Kering stable, Fendi (owned by LVMH) and Valentino said to be seeking retail space on Collins Street and considering a move into the T&G Building.

“As part of its extensive refurbishment of the T&G Building, Pembroke Real Estate is reimagining the luxury retail precinct on the ground floor,” said Matthew Knight, vice president, head of Australia at Pembroke Real Estate.

“Pembroke is engaged in active discussions with a range of tenants as well as welcoming an exciting new presence for the existing Gucci store, details of which will be announced later in the year,” Mr Knight said.

CBRE director Zelman Ainsworth acted as the exclusive leasing agent on behalf of Pembroke. He declined to comment.

Luxury brands dominate the top end of Collins Street, referred to locally as the “Paris End”, with rents in excess of $5000 per square metre.

Parisian leather goods purveyor Berluti is the latest retailer to announce its presence on the strip, after leasing a 136 square metre store at 175 Collins Street. Read more: http://www.afr.com/real-estate/commercial/leasing/luxury-fashion-houses-join-rush-to-collins-street-as-gucci-expands-20170410-gvholh#ixzz4e0jSAFFJ