Glendale Galleria revamp gets underway

Six months after getting the green light from city officials, Glendale Galleria management this week kicked off a comprehensive remodeling project, creating new entrances, facades, floors, escalators and seating at the 36-year-old mall.

The work will culminate in the fall of 2013 with the opening of a 120,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s department store at Brand Boulevard and Broadway, where Mervyns once stood.

“With this, Glendale Galleria will offer shoppers a much fresher look,” Galleria Senior General Manager Larry Martin said of the overhaul.

Construction will not interfere with commerce, he added.

“Ninety-nine percent is done at night,” Martin said. “The shoppers won’t be hindered at all.”

The Glendale City Council approved the remodel in November, just weeks after Galleria parent company, Chicago-based General Growth Properties, struck a deal to bring high-end retailer Bloomingdale’s into the 1.5-million-square-foot complex.

The announcement was a coup for the indoor mall, which will lose one of its original anchor stores, Nordstrom, to the neighboring Americana at Brand in 2013.

Galleria renovations will start at the main entrance on Central Avenue and at the south end of the mall at Target, Martin said. They will then progress north through the complex.

“All the exterior entrances coming from the streets into the mall itself will be done with new logos and new signage and so forth, welcoming the shoppers,” Martin said.

The remodel will also include new lighting, interior facades and railings. Contractors will renovate existing restrooms while adding new ones, Martin said. Some escalators will be moved or replaced, and a new elevator will be added to the main court area, he added. The food court will also be redone.

The complex has not undergone a comprehensive renovation since it was built in 1976, said Martin, although it was refloored and repainted in 1997. During the last month, Galleria management has relocated about 15 merchants to make room for Bloomingdale’s, he said.

City officials and Glendale merchants have hailed the project as an opportunity to reinvigorate a space that some say has become outdated. Helen McDonagh, president of the Downtown Glendale Merchants Assn., said that it is great to see General Growth investing in the Galleria.

“With Bloomingdale’s coming in it takes it to a higher level,” McDonagh said. “The updates ensure that the Galleria will continue to be a star shopping destination in the future.”

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