Friday, May 23, 2008

MacDon't Tread on Me

Typically American; don't like the deal? Sue:
McDonald's, a symbol for the spread of U.S. culture around the world, has found common cause with French cinemas and brasseries.

The fast-food chain is suing its landlord to avoid being priced off the Champs-Élysées after the rent for its outlet on "the world's most beautiful avenue" doubled in five years.

...."We don't want to leave the Champs-Élysées," said Sébastien Perochain, spokesman for the French unit of the company based in Oak Brook, Illinois. "It's a very prestigious location. But the rise in rent has been spectacular."

....The Champs-Élysées is the world's third-most expensive commercial property location, after Fifth Avenue in New York and Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, according to the real estate brokerage agent, Cushman & Wakefield.

Average annual rent on the Champs-Élysées is €7,364 per square meter, or $1,075 per square foot, compared with €11,983 on Fifth Avenue and €9,688 on Causeway Bay, Cushman & Wakefield said in a report in November.

....Now even some global brands are deciding that the address is not worth the cost. Planet Hollywood, the restaurant chain backed by the actors Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, closed its doors a block from McDonald's at the end of February.

"Demand is still on the rise, so the surge in rents is far from over," said Thierry Bonniol, who oversees commercial property at the Paris real estate broker Atisreal. "The Champs-Élysées is very coveted given the sheer number of tourists that visit it."

Perochain declined to disclose what McDonald's pays for rent, the name of its landlord or any details on the lawsuit. The restaurant sits on the former site of the 1872 Rothschild mansion. It became home to what the French call "MacDo" in 1988.

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