The city of Glendale, Calif., received a much-needed upgrade to its retail infrastructure with the May 2 opening of the Americana at Brand, a $400 million mixed-use project from Los Angeles-based developer Caruso Affiliated. In addition to introducing Glendale to upscale tenants, the 900,000-square-foot Americana features an 18-screen movie theater, more than a dozen restaurants, 100 condominiums and 238 apartments. The development represents a bold move for Glendale, a city that has never served as a major retail hub, says Jeff Green, president of Jeff Green Partners, a Mill Valley, Calif.-based consulting firm. “I think Glendale is ripe for upscaling,” he notes.

Glendale is home to one large-scale retail center — the 1.3-million-square-foot Glendale Galleria, which is owned by Chicago-based REIT General Growth Properties. But the Galleria is designed for a more mid-market consumer and anchored by Nordstrom, Macy's, JCPenney and Target. “Together, they will provide a large shopping destination, and we have not duplicated any tenants at the Galleria, so their business should increase,” says Rick Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated.

As for the Americana's residential section, Caruso has already received more than 50 deposits for the apartment units and has 25 people on the waiting list for the condominiums.