With the Americana at Brand continuing to nip at its heels, the Glendale Galleria today announced a new leadership team for the mega-mall.
Larry Martin — who managed the Montclair Plaza for six years — will take over as general manager, the company announced, and Deborah Hearn, a commercial-retail property manager from Seattle, will come onboard as his chief deputy.
Chris Bilotto, who was named as the senior general manager at the Galleria in September last year, exited in March and is now a manager for Reit Management & Research.
The Galleria has been coping with how to stay relevant with an aging property next to an ever-growing and flashier Americana at Brand next door.
Bilotto came onboard amid news that Americana developer Rick Caruso had poached Nordstrom — a key anchor tenant.
Caruso purchased the Nordstrom building last year and announced plans to move the high-end retailer into a new section of the Americana on Colorado Street and Brand Boulevard. As the new owner of a key building for the Galleria, Caruso pledged to find a new tenant.
But it put a spotlight on the Glendale Galleria’s age and inability to enter the retail rabbit race while saddled with the economic woes of its parent company, General Growth Properties Inc.
In a conference call with investors at about the same time, General Growth’s chief executive, Sandeep Mathrani, acknowledged that losing Nordstrom to the Americana was a result of his company being unable to invest in the 36-year-old Galleria while in bankruptcy protection from April 2009 to November 2010.
He pledged to make upgrading the Galleria a top priority in a post-bankruptcy landscape.
-- Jason Wells, Times Community News