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Court Clears Way for Glendale Development

Jurists reject charges that environmental report on Americana on Brand was inadequate.

November 19, 2005|Sam Quinones | Times Staff Writer

Developer Rick Caruso has won the latest round, and perhaps the fight, over the future of a chunk of Glendale's downtown.

The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday against General Growth Properties, which owns the Glendale Galleria shopping mall, in its attempt to halt Caruso's proposed mixed-used project scheduled to go up across the street.

The court ruled that the project's financial reports and agreements met legal standards, and that its environmental impact report was sufficient. The court also ordered General Growth to pay legal costs to Caruso and Glendale.

General Growth has 30 days to appeal to the state Supreme Court. Officials from the company could not be reached for comment late Friday.

For his part, Caruso said he expects to begin construction in January after what he called "a huge decision."

"They've tried to use the environmental review process to stop competition, and the courts have clearly told them no," he said.

Caruso's proposed Americana on Brand is a $262-million mixed-used project on 15.5 acres. It would have 338 residential units; 475,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space; and a two-acre park.

He and General Growth have battled fiercely over the project.

The city approved Americana on Brand in April 2004. A month later, General Growth sued to stop the project, alleging, among other things, that the environmental impact report was insufficient.

The company also financed a city referendum on Caruso's project in a September 2004 election. Voters approved the project.

Caruso is also the developer of the Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles at Fairfax Avenue and 3rd Street.

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