Wednesday, March 09, 2011

One Final Thought on Rick Caruso's Glendale Land Grab

Rick Caruso wouldn't stop until he got his prize: The land underneath Glendale's Golden Key Hotel, which sits right next to his Americana on Brand shopping center.

Golden Key owner Ray Patel held out until Caruso finally made him an offer he couldn't refuse. Well, that, and the fact that the city had sided with Caruso -- and threatened to take the land anyway, through eminent domain.

The Golden Key (and another building) were the only thing standing in the way of Caruso controlling the entire block. He now plans to add 140,000 square feet of retail, the Los Angeles Times writes:

The hotel on Colorado Street and an adjacent former retail building Caruso bought earlier will be demolished to enlarge the mall. The addition will include about 140,000 square feet of shops, more pedestrian space, a cafe and a fountain, he said.

"This will really round out the original vision of the Americana," he said.

Caruso expects to spend about $50 million on the Americana addition and to upgrade a small shopping center across Colorado from the mall that he recently acquired. The Americana expansion has yet to be approved by the city, but he hopes to have it completed by late 2012.
Here's my deal: Downtown Glendale is already awash with empty store fronts. The massive spot formerly held by Mervyn's at the Glendale Galleria is still empty. Borders is about to shut its Glendale slot across the street. Up and down Brand, there are plenty of boarded up windows.

And most importantly: Not all of the Americana is filled. Actually, there's been quite a turnover of stores. One spot -- most recently held by a shave ice joint, and now a tacky AT&T dealer -- has already changed hands three times. And the Americana is not that old.

So... Caruso thinks the neighborhood needs more retail?

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