CityPlace Macy’s will be site of mural as RH set to open gallery

The shuttered Macy’s at CityPlace in West Palm Beach will have a new look in December: A mural covering the exterior of the entire building.

The mural will closely follow the November opening of the new Restoration Hardware gallery just south of the shopping and dining center, in the Okeechobee Boulevard median.

The Macy’s art installation was described in a recent Wall Street Journal magazine article.  Visual artist Michael Craig Martin will transform the former department store space, which closed earlier this year, into his largest mural to date, according to Ken Himmel,  president of Related Urban, the mixed-use unit of New York-based Related Cos., which built CityPlace.

In addition, sound designer Stephen Vitiello will create a sound installation “that will live in and around the detritus left behind” by brands that once called the space home, according to the article.

If it sounds a bit like the “Derelicte” fashion campaign imagined by the character Mugatu in the movie Zoolander, Himmel said there’s a method to this experiment.

“It’s all about driving different kinds of traffic to a project,”  Himmel told the Journal. “Mixed-use retail developments centered on cultural offerings are outperforming every other type of retail offering by a longshot.”

In other words, art and culture are cool, and they help stores sell things.

Meanwhile, an invitation-only opening is set to Restoration Hardware’s new West Palm Beach store on Saturday, Nov. 18. The opening will feature socialites such as Georgina Bloomberg, Lourdes Fanjul and Ariana Rockefeller. Golf great Greg Norman and wife, Kirsten, also are slated to attend.

A bellini bar, cavier bar, mojito bar, gourmet bites by RH’s café, plus a DJ, are part of the festivities.

At a time when retailers (see Macy’s) are shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores, Restoration Gallery is going in the opposite direction, opening grand galleries dubbed RH in selected locations.

The RH invitation describes the four-story, 80,000-square-foot furniture store as a gallery that “blurs the line between residential and retail, indoors and outdoors, home and hospitality.”

The gallery features a skylit rooftop restaurant with French antique black-and-white marble floors. In addition to interior furniture collections, including those for babies and teens, the gallery also has a rooftop “park” showcasing the store’s collection of outdoor furniture.