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The Americana at Brand opens for business

May 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's the grand opening for the new Americana at Brand in downtown Glendale.The new development promises to be a shoppers paradise, but not everybody is happy about it.

Click in the Eyewitness News Story Window above to watch Leanne Suter's report from the new Americana at Brand.

Shoppers are turning out in force to check out the Americana at Brand. From the outside it may not look like much but on inside it's all about glitz and glamour.

The ribbon cutting was of grand portions for the Americana at Brand, a new $400 million retail and residential complex in Glendale. The complex boasts shopping, dining, entertainment and residences.

"You only saw the outside, but to see the inside it's beautiful," said shopper Kelly Watson.

"I thought it would be kind of smaller, this is huge. Yeah, it's nice," said shopper Kevin Arias.

With the musical support of his alma mater USC, developer Rick Caruso took the first ride on the Americana's signature trolley. Caruso, the mastermind behind The Grove, has taken shopping and living to a whole new level. But will it work in today's economy?

"People always gravitate to quality," said Caruso. "This place is designed from a standpoint you'll have ups and downs in the economy. You get through it. Look at The Grove, look at the Commons, anything we've built. I'm not worried about it at all."

"We've been down to The Grove quite a few times and this I think out does The Grove," said shopper Dan Napier. "And it's so close to us, which is so great."

Some die hard shoppers waited overnight to make sure they were the first in the doors. With 75 shops and restaurants, 100 condos for sale and 238 apartments for rent, there's something for everyone.

"Much nicer, bigger and specialty apartments. I'm really thinking to get one apartment here," said shopper Sona Jierjian.

There are nationally known upscale shops like Barney's New York, plus a mix of mid- and low-level stores like H&M and Urban Outfitters. The complex has plenty of choices when it comes to eating, from picking up a casual lunch to a fine dining dinner experience.

When it comes to entertainment, visitors can check out the state of the art Pacific Theatres with 18 screens and a 1920s art deco look.

With dancing fountains, outdoor crystal chandeliers, and a statue covered in 23-karat gold, it's an extravagant shoppers' paradise for both visitors and residents.

The opening of the new shopping complex comes with some serious concerns about competition for the Glendale Galleria, traffic, and parking.

For everyone who turned out Friday, it was really all about the shopping, checking out all the new sights and sounds, and of course trying to find some of deals. Pacific Theatres Glendale 18 is offering special opening week concession promotions featuring $1 popcorn and $2 hot dogs.

 

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