Renovations to the parking structure at Glendale Galleria were recently completed in a project that started shortly after the mall celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2016, according to Galleria officials.
Chicago-based real estate company GGP Inc., which owns and operates the mall, invested in a redevelopment project that added a lighted parking guidance system, signage and solar canopies on the parking structure's roof as well as 11 charging stations for electric vehicles.
The indoor mall opened in 1976 and originally centered around four anchor department stores. It later added the Galleria II expansion on the other side of Central Avenue and went through major renovations in 2013 as part of the opening of a two-story Bloomingdale's in the Galleria II area.
More than 200 stores fill the 1.6 million-square-feet of retail space today.
GGP Inc. does not release information about renovation costs to the public, according to Lindsey Kahn, the company's senior manager of public relations.
Brent Gardner works on community development as the Galleria's senior general manager. He said renovation plans began with what shoppers were telling him — parking is still an obstacle.
"The parking lot is the first and last thing [patrons] see," he said. "The path to purchase is always about experience, and if the very first thing they experience is frustration with parking, they will find somewhere else to shop."
The addition of solar panels not only provides customers shade from the California sun but acknowledges the market-based needs of "environmentally conscious" patrons, Gardner said.
The solar panels are expected to produce 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, which amounts to a supply of about 25% of the power consumed by the Galleria, according to a statement from GGP.
"When you look at sustainability and state legislation, you have to be conscious of your carbon footprint for a better environment," Gardner said.
The additional charging stations throughout the parking garage allow the mall to serve up to 18 electric cars at any time. The stations are compatible with every make and model of electric car and are free for customers.
Galleria officials said they plan to add more charging stations this year.