Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal is reporting that Galleria been approved for plans to the city of Edina for a major expansion. The expansion will include an additional 20,000 square feet of retail space on the east side of the mall, bringing the center to a total of 397,500 square feet of leasable space. The plan also includes the reconstruction of Barnes & Noble, which is moving to a new space within the mall to open its new restaurant concept in time for the holiday shopping season. According to the Business Journal‘s story, general manager Jerry Cohen has said the mall has lease commitments from retailers and restaurants for the new space but that it’s “too early” to identify them.
In December, Star Tribune reported that Gabberts was considering an exit from Galleria unless they were able to get their ceilings raised—which hasn’t happened. Plans don’t include a roof raising, but Cohen says Gabberts has extended its lease to July 2020.
The upscale shopping center has been in a state of flux since it traded hands from Edina-based Gabbert & Beck to Houston real estate firm Hines Global REIT, Inc. in 2012, and many have speculated that it has focused on bringing in national retailers over Minnesota-owned. Earlier this year, longtime tenant Len Druskin left the mall, as did a number of other locally owned retailers—Epitome, Epitome Papers (which recently reopened in Excelsior), and Russell+Hazel (which is slated to reopen in North Loop in August). National retailers Tory Burch and Vineyard Vines slated to open this fall, and a Free People store opened last weekend.
But don’t count local retailers out at Galleria just yet—locally owned women’s clothing store Dugo recently completed a renovation, as did H.O.B.O. in 2015, while designer footwear boutique Pumpz & Co. just celebrated a year at its new storefront, and Ampersand, Melly, Art Resources, Twill, and Scheherazade Jewelers all recently renewed their leases.
UPDATE: Retail leasing director for the Galleria, Jennifer Smith, says that their intention is not to replace the locals with nationals, and in fact, the center currently has just five percent more national than local tenants. The Galleria has also been in discussions with several local operators for space at the Galleria in the near term.