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Glendale council backs Caruso’s plan to expand Americana mall

The Glendale City Council is siding with Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso in his effort to expand the Americana at Brand shopping center.

Acting as the city’s redevelopment agency, the council Tuesday approved a plan to push the mall’s neighboring property owners to negotiate the sale of their buildings to Caruso or work up their own plans for the intersection of Colorado and Orange streets.

The owners of a hotel and vacant building next to the Americana will have 45 days to negotiate a sales price with Caruso, submit their own plans for redevelopment or face possible eminent domain proceedings.

Caruso said he would like to make the adjacent properties, which include the 55-room Golden Key Hotel and vacant building, part of the shopping center, adding 60,000 to 140,000 square feet of retail space, landscaping, a fountain area and a pedestrian walkway from Colorado Street into the mixed-use center.

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Henry David, who owns the empty, 7,500-square-foot building at the edge of the Americana, indicated he would be willing to sell, his only concern being that “we are treated fairly.”

And although Ray Patel, owner of the Golden Key Hotel, also said he would consider selling, he added that a mid-priced hotel is an important asset for the city and that he would like to keep it open.

“I don’t feel like I should be bullied into anything,” Patel said.

Mayor Ara Najarian urged the property owners to negotiate, and if that fails he said a fair price for the properties could be determined in court.

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Even so, there would be no losers in the deal, he said.

“The winners in this are the residents of Glendale,” Najarian said.

Caruso told the council he wants to “double down” on his investment in Glendale, and pledged to negotiate in good faith with the other property owners. He said he also would look to protect the interests of Patel’s 15 hotel employees.

Council members credited the Americana for revitalizing downtown, even as other cities struggle.

“We have a downtown that has kind of become the ‘it’ place for the region,” said Councilwoman Laura Friedman.

bill.kisliuk@latimes.com


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