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Bloomingdale's to fill Galleria vacancy

Department store plans to move into the site that Mervyn┬┐s left years ago.

November 03, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • Pedestrians walk by the vacant Mervyn's in the Glendale Galleria. Bloomingdale's will move in by 2013. (Roger Wilson/Staff Photographer)
Pedestrians walk by the vacant Mervyn's in the Glendale…

High-end department store Bloomingdale's announced plans Thursday to become an anchor tenant at the Glendale Galleria, moving into the former Mervyn’s site that has sat vacant on Brand Boulevard for years.

It’s a major addition for the mega mall that has struggled to retain its retail dominance against the growing prominence of nearby Americana at Brand, which is poaching Nordstrom after attracting other previously Galleria-only stores such as Apple and Sephora.

Bloomingdale’s, which according to the announcement plans to move into the 120,000-square-foot site at the corner of Broadway and Brand Boulevard by fall 2013, is expected to create 175 jobs and re-energize the fledgling intersection where Borders shuttered a prominent multi-story glass storefront across the street.

In a statement, Mayor Laura Friedman said the renovation would “further strengthen the city of Glendale's retail core.”

Mervyn’s closed all of its stores in 2008 after filing for bankruptcy.

Nordstrom, another Galleria anchor located to the west, is expected to move to the Americana at Brand at about the same time Bloomingdale’s is scheduled to open in October 2013.

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Developer Rick Caruso — who recently got City Council approval of plans to expand the Americana to include a new building for Nordstrom — has been critical of the Galleria’s lack of upgrades, but on Thursday, called the Bloomingdale’s announcement “fantastic news.”

“It’s going to be great for the Americana, Brand Boulevard, the Galleria and the whole city,” Caruso said.

He added that he never entered into talks with Bloomingdale’s to fill the soon-to-be vacant Nordstrom building, which he owns.

“We stood down,” Caruso said. “We wanted the Glendale Galleria to make that deal.”

Without a new tenant, the Galleria would have had two major anchor vacancies.

The Glendale location will bring to eight the number of Bloomingdale’s in Southern California, according to Michael Gould, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

“Much like Bloomingdale’s stores in Soho and Santa Monica, we expect our assortment and shopping experience in Glendale will be carefully edited for the community and customer,” Gould said in a statement.

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