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Curbed Inside: Developer Rick Caruso's Americana At Brand

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This weekend Curbed LA and Racked LA headed over Americana at Brand in Glendale. Both the sales and leasing sales offices open on May 2, and while the condominiums weren't available for tour, we toured the development and a 1,400-square-foot apartment expected to rent for $5,000/month. Also, check out Racked's coverage of the stores (Barney's Co-op, Anthropologie, more), while Eater LA has photos of how the restaurants are looking.

After all the hoopla, an inside look at Americana at Brand, the sprawling Glendale mixed-use development that opens on May 2nd. First impressions: This is the Grove with condos and apartments. But the Grove dialed up about four notches. The fountain at the Americana shoots higher than the one at the Grove, there's a caboose and a trolley, and there's a fancy Katsuya restaurant. But how about those condos! How in the heck do you sell $700,000 condos to a buying public clearly waiting for prices to drop? Developer Rick Caruso: Don't do pre-sales, wait until the buyers can actually see a model unit and the whole Americana development. "I'm not worried. I would be worried if we were building four blocks down the street," he said. We'd bumped into Caruso during our tour, and he was about to show us how the fountain works. "But people are buying this," he said, smiling and gesturing to the shops and restaurants. "We already have an interest list of 3,000 people."

Who the surprise buyer could be at Americana at Brand: Caruso: “I think we will have more families than we thought." His point: Parents can hang out at home, while their children can run downstairs to the stores or to the movie theater.

Music: At the Grove, you get Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin over the loudspeakers. At Americana at Brand? Barry White, Tom Jones, and more. What’s the significance of those artists? No clue! Plus, we're told: More songs, more music.

Party to crash: There’s a black tie party on the rooftop of the garage on Thursday, May 1. Given the chatter that Caruso could one day run for mayor, expect anyone of any importance to be on that rooftop.

Caruso "rewards card": The kinks are being worked out, but there'll be a rewards program for Americana owner and renters: they'll get a discounts at the shops and restaurants. There’s also talk of a rewards card that would work at all of Caruso’s properties from the Grove to his forthcoming Santa Barbara hotel.

Trolley karma: On the day we visited, there was a slight discussion among the Americana construction higher-ups about whether the press should able to photograph the trolley. Their concern: It's "bad trolley karma" to show a photograph of the trolley before its official unveiling on May 2nd. Sort of sweet! So we gamely agreed to keep the trolley photo under wraps. Then Rick Caruso came along and gave the directive: Sure, you can photograph the trolley. Takeaway: If this place implodes for whatever reason, blame those early trolley photos.
· Americana At Brand, Part II: Weekend Construction [Curbed LA]

The Grove

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The Americana at Brand

889 Americana Way., Glendale, CA 91210