Caruso's reach may benefit Galleria

The dramatic move by Rick Caruso to buy the Nordstrom site at the Glendale Galleria and move the high-end retailer to what will be an expanded Americana at Brand could mean more than just a major reshuffle.

For roughly two years, the massive “black hole” at the former Mervyn’s site on Brand Boulevard and Broadway, which served as a major customer entrance point for the Galleria, has sat empty — a major waste of space.

With Caruso extending his reach to the Nordstom site, the Galleria will hopefully benefit from his publicly-stated desires to have the two retail malls mesh in a mutually beneficial way. Whatever the public thinks of those statements, it can’t be denied that the billionaire’s business acumen is firmly rooted in the offensive playbook, whereas General Growth Properties — whether it’s through preoccupation with a recent Chapter 11 reorganization or a flat response to the recession — has appeared less the nimble in keeping the Galleria relevant.

Caruso has said he plans to have a replacement tenant for the current Nordstrom spot before the move, and there’s nothing in his record to suggest that he won’t. And if he can throw his weight around to revive the corner of Brand and Broadway, well, all the better.

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