Caruso settles studio suit

Americana at Brand developer Rick Caruso and the owners of a former recording studio have settled their legal dispute, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court official, removing the last legal thorn in Caruso’s effort to expand his 15.5-acre Glendale mall.

The terms of the settlement were not disclosed and representatives for Caruso Affiliated and the studio, Backroom Entertainment Inc., declined to comment.

The studio occupied a brick building at 230 S. Orange St., steps away from Caruso Way shops and restaurants. Studio owners Brad Schmidt and Tim Feehan said demolition of nearby buildings, combined with the construction of the Americana between 2003 and 2008, ruined their recording facility. They sought at least $1 million in their lawsuit against Caruso Affiliated and the Glendale Redevelopment Agency.

Caruso had previously agreed to indemnify the agency for any litigation stemming from the creation of the Americana.

In February, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Rico ruled that Backroom was “literally and figuratively driven out of business” by the city and Caruso Affiliated. He set a jury trial for April 19 to decide damages.

Around the same time, Caruso bought the building that had housed the studio for $4.1 million. A few weeks later, Caruso bought the Golden Key Hotel, which is next to the studio, for $16.2 million.

Caruso said at the time he planned to expand the Americana, widen Colorado Street and add a new entry and landscaping to the upscale shopping center.

In March, Caruso announced that the Nordstrom department store would abandon the neighboring Glendale Galleria and open a store in a new building where the hotel and former recording studio stand today. The new store is expected to open in 2013.

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