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London group plans to turn Boston garage into Chanel store, apartments

LONDON — Tribeca Holdings London, managed by Irish investor Aidan Brooks, is turning a Boston parking garage into a store for French luxury-goods retailer Chanel and six homes.

A three-story shop with six condominiums above is being built at 4-6 Newbury Street in the center of the city’s affluent Back Bay neighborhood, according to the Boston Redevelopment Authority’s website. Tribeca confirmed it owns the building in an e-mail and declined to say what it plans to do with the property. Iana dos Reis Nunes, a spokeswoman for Chanel, couldn’t immediately confirm the information.

Retailers in the Back Bay’s shopping district include Hermes International, Burberry Group and Cie. Financiere Richemont’s Cartier. Boston retail rents are forecast to rise by 4.2 percent this year, the most in five years, and sales of retail property in the city more than doubled last year to $1.1 billion, according to broker Cushman & Wakefield, citing Property & Portfolio Research.

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The development will cost London-based Tribeca as much as $50 million including the garage’s purchase price, a person with knowledge of the transaction said. The person declined to be identified because the information is private.

Tribeca filed a certificate of lease to Chanel in April 2011 and a Brookline Bancorp unit gave a $15 million mortgage to a unit of the U.K. company, Tribeca Newbury Street Owner, in December, Suffolk County records show.

Rents on Newbury Street rose 4 percent in the 12 months through June 2011 to about $130 a square foot a year, Cushman & Wakefield said in a report. That compares with $2,250 a square foot on New York’s 5th Avenue, the world’s most expensive retail location.