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Saturday afternoon, team Racked and team Curbed had the opportunity to tour Americana at Brand in Glendale, a week before its May 2 debut. Here, reports and photos from the scene. Be sure to check Curbed's coverage and learn all about "bad trolley karma" and Eater's restaurant coverage, the first of a two-parter.
The numbers are impressive: a $400 million mixed-use mall/apartments/condos, with 75 shops and restaurants, 238 apartments and 100 condos, across 15.5 acres. Splashy and oh-so-new, The Americana at Brand, created by The Grove developer Rick Caruso, is going to change the face of sleepy Glendale. It's The Grove on crack, if you can imagine—the fountain is more impressive (jets shoot up into the air 100 feet!), the trolley takes its trip alongside Brand Boulevard, there's a fancy 10-by-12-foot chandelier, and 23kt gold leaf 18-foot statue. The shops are Grove-esque (Anthropologie, Barneys CO-OP, Barnes & Noble, JCrew, Michael Stars, Kiehl's, Sur la Table), but infused with others (Crewcuts, H&M, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, UK's Paperchase, a Tiffany & Co. featuring contemporary collections, Urban Outfitters, Lacoste, and Ruehl, Abercrombie's more grown-up concept store). Opening day will likely be completely mad, and if Caruso's magic touch continues—The Grove attracted more visitors than Disneyland in 2006, per Los Angeles mag—Americana retail will rake in the dough.
And then there's the residential aspect, the apartments and condos, which has prompted 40 people to put down holding deposits for the rentals and, for the condos, a 3,000 people long waiting list to view. We were fortunate that Rick Caruso was on-site, having just finished the inaugural meal at The Cheesecake Factory with his family, and told Racked: "People usually do pre-sales, but we thought we could get premium pricing if people see the place first." In response to our queries regarding concerns about the economy, he continued: "I'm not worried. I would be worried if we were building four blocks down the street." Premium pricing is right. The condos start in the $700,000s, and a 1,400-square-foot two-bedroom, two-bath apartment with view goes for $5,000 a month. Though we couldn't help ohhing and ahhing when we saw the resort-y pool/cabana area and workout room, the pricing still seemed astronomical for Glendale. Are you willing to live at the mall? Will the place fill up? We'll see.
· Curbed Inside: Developer Rick Caruso's Americana At Brand [Curbed]
· Americana at Brand Mega Preview: Day 1 [Eater]
· Malled: Americana at Brand Enters Blogosphere [Racked]
· Get Into The Grove: Lure the Kids with Ice Cream, Americana at Brand Cross Promotion [Racked]