Glendale Galleria renovation kicks into high gear

Renovation work at the Glendale Galleria is going full steam ahead as the aging retail behemoth strives to keep itself attractive next to its glitzy neighbor, the Americana at Brand.

The large-scale renovation project is scheduled to wrap up just before Bloomingdale’s opens in October 2013 on the corner of Brand Boulevard and Broadway, where Mervyn’s was located.

Crews are now in the thick of installing new handrails along the second floor, a pit has been dug for a new elevator, and prep work is underway to cover the brick on the mall’s interior walls with drywall.

Most of the interior work is on the south side of the mall, outside Target, where the flooring has just started being removed to be replaced with tile. Renovations will continue to the north, said Larry Martin, the Galleria’s senior general manager.

Almost all of the work is being done at night, so it will not interfere with shoppers or retailers, Martin said.

The new glass panels that hold the handrails are more streamlined on top, and the handrails are attached below the top of the glass. The result: Patrons walking along the first floor will be able to see the second-floor stores more clearly, Martin said.

“It improves visibility tremendously, we think,” he said.

A hole has been dug for a new elevator west of the existing one in the mall’s main court, outside JC Penney. Barricades are set up around some of the areas where the floor elevation changes in the mall as ramps and stairs are replaced in phases.

And early construction work is underway for a new escalator outside Macy’s, which will run in the opposite direction of the existing one.

The ceiling between the outside of the second floor of Macy’s and the enclosed walkway over Central Avenue has been torn out to make room for a higher ceiling there, Martin said, adding that ceiling elevations will be done in various areas of the mall, which has not undergone a comprehensive renovation since opening in 1976.

On either side of the mall’s entrance off Central Avenue dark fencing has been erected. Two fountains will be constructed in those areas, creating a “public plaza” with tables, chairs and new landscaping.

Two new tenants will be on either side of the mall’s new entrance, Martin said. One will be a Korean restaurant called 9021Pho with chef Kimmy Tang, and the other will be a still-to-be announced national retailer.

“It will be a 15,000-square-foot flagship store for them,” Martin said.

About 60,000 square feet has been vacated in Galleria II to make room for the 116,000-square-foot Bloomingdale’s, which has already been enclosed for work.

Daniel’s Jewelers, Skechers and Pro Image were among the stores that moved to other spaces in the Galleria for the project, Martin said.

Crews are demolishing the interior of the former Mervyn’s, and Martin expects the site to be handed over to Bloomingdale’s for construction around the end of the year.

There are also plans to renovate the food court and its central seating area, Martin said. Also, restrooms will be remodeled, and a new escalator and entrance will be constructed into the Galleria II, which Martin called the “Bloomingdale’s wing.”


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