Both companies said the meetings have been informal and started soon after the Americana debuted.
“No one’s trying to gain inner secrets; this is a huge industry,” LaFevre said. “We talk with many shopping center owners.”
The Galleria also shares ideas with malls in Century City, Los Angeles and Orange County, she said.
But the Galleria, unlike its other Southern California competitors, did wage a three-year legal battle challenging the Americana for consumer supremacy as the 15.5-acre outdoor mall was planning its unveiling.
Immediately following the Americana’s 2004 City Council approval, General Growth filed suit against Caruso Affiliated Holdings, which runs a string of high-end shopping malls in Southern California, alleging that the Americana’s environmental impact report violated California law.
A judge rejected that claim in a January 2005 decision, paving the way for the project to proceed.
In turn, Americana owner Rick Caruso filed a $40-million antitrust suit against General Growth in 2004, alleging that the Chicago-based real estate investment trust engaged in interference and unfair business practices by trying to strong-arm tenants away from potential deals at the Americana.
General Growth denied the claim but was forced to pay $89 million in damages in November 2007 after a jury found that the real estate company tried to derail a deal between Cheesecake Factory and the Americana.
The issue involved a 43-month delay in which the restaurant balked at signing a lease in the Americana after General Growth threatened to block the restaurant’s inclusion at some of its more than 200 malls nationwide.
General Growth is the restaurant’s biggest landlord, according to company holdings.