Longtime rival shopping centers Americana at Brand and the Glendale Galleria are tying the knot with splashy new improvements on Brand Boulevard in downtown Glendale.
The changes come as the side-by-side malls usher in new premium tenants — Nordstrom moving from the Galleria to the Americana in September and Bloomingdale’s opening just down the street in the Galleria in November.
Los Angeles real estate developer Rick Caruso, who owns the Americana and a portion of the Galleria, announced $60 million in improvements to the Americana focused on linking the Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s stores under construction at the two malls.
The streetscape along Brand will be improved with new restaurants, trees and landscaping.
“We are going to have one of the great boulevards in L.A.,” Caruso said.
New restaurants on Brand will include Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant famous for its dumplings, and Bourbon Steak, a steakhouse operated by celebrity chef Michael Mina.
Caruso Affiliated will build a long lobby that will connect the new Nordstrom rising near the middle of the Americana so that it can have an entrance onto Brand Boulevard. That entrance will be 900 feet down the block from the Brand entry to Bloomingdale’s, which is being built in a long-empty space at the Galleria formerly occupied by a Mervyns department store.
When it opens in September, Nordstrom will house a restaurant called Bar Verde and a coffee bar called Ebar. The new Glendale Nordstrom will be “100% different” from the old one, which dates from the 1980s, Nordstrom regional manager Bob Middlemas said.
Caruso bought the Nordstrom space in the Glendale Galleria from Nordstrom in 2011 as part of his bid to get the Seattle retailer to move to the Americana. He said Wednesday that he hopes a “major retailer” will take over the Nordstrom spot in the Galleria.
The primary owner of the Galleria is General Growth Properties Inc., which is spending nearly $60 million on renovations inside and outside. They also are slated to be completed in the fall.