It's makeover mania today in Glendale. In a nice example of community synergy, the Glendale City Council approved a thorough renovation of the Glendale Galleria (pdf) on the same day that they approved a new branding campaign for the city. The renovation will replace the mall's 1970s-style windowless brick exterior with marble facades and add water features and signage. A case of keeping up with the Joneses is probably at work here--the Americana next door has been poaching stores and is planning its own construction project. Councilmember Ara Najarian told the Glendale News-Press that the changes are overdue in light of the Galleria's fancier neighbor to the east: "I would have liked to have brought this up to speed at about the time the Americana was opening up."
The City Council approved a wide array of exterior and interior improvements, including the additions of two fountains and a reflecting pool ("Glendale" will be spelled out in three and a half foot tall letters on top of the pool wall, while 11 foot tall letters will jut out of the pool to spell "Galleria."). Exterior improvements will also include outdoor seating, upgraded landscaping, a shelter for the bridge over Central Avenue, glass-enclosed escalators on the side of the parking structure, and additional signage. Before it can put up signs, the Galleria will have to enter into a revenue-sharing agreement with the city, but the agreement has not yet been drafted.
Berkeley-based firm Architecture and Urban Design did the design work on the makeover. The project is scheduled for completion by the fall of 2013, the same time that Bloomingdale's is scheduled to open in the former Mervyn's site at Broadway and Brand Boulevard.
· Glendale Galleria to revamp its drab all-brick skin [Glendale News-Press]
· Glendale Galleria Expansion (pdf) [City Council Motion]