Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Galleria Edina, Edina (Minneapolis), MN

     While Minneapolis is full of successful middle-market malls, there is only one true upscale center. And that upscale mall is quite an interesting one. Nestled across the street of the very famous Southdale Center (coming soon), Galleria Edina forms the only upscale mall in the Twin Cities. This forms another type of Lenox Square-Phipps Plaza combo in Edina, MN. Another thing that makes the mall quite unique is that it has zero official anchors, with long-time furniture store Gabbert's and a Barnes and Noble partially filling in that hole. Anyways, it seems as if it doesn't matter, as the mall has been successful and like that it's whole existence.

An extremely weird mall layout. The mall, while not small, isn't as big as this directory makes it look like.
     The mall's history is pretty odd, and far from normal. While I can't find an exact date of it's opening, Gabbert's opened up in the empty lot across from the Southdale Center. Eventually, the store was complemented with a strip complex built around it. This would be enclosed, like many of the era's strip centers. In 2004, Galleria Edina was in the spotlight for having an electronic gift registry where you could request products from the mall's stores. This was quite revolutionary at the time. In 2006, plans for an expansion were approved to attach a nearby Westin hotel to the mall.

Nothing is very complex here, but it all looks great in the end. Perfect balance between overdone and bland as crap. The stairs pictured in the second photo lead to an underground parking area.

     What came out to me was literally nothing. The mall is in seemingly architectural harmony, with nothing overdone or bland. It mixes elegance with simplicity, and looks good. Putting live trees in a mall seems boring, but they did it here and looks nice. The courts are bright and inviting, and all that's done is a large skylight. This all also translates to the stores. The stores are half local designer fare and national shops. This makes the mall fully unique and one of the only ones of its type around. The number of fountains and planters doesn't disappoint at all, if anything.

The Crate and Barrel wing.

Very simple fountain and planters outside B&N, but it's modern and nice.

     In the idea of expansions, redev, and renovation, there is zero need for it at all. The mall is successful and not dead, looks modern, and is finishing up another expansion. I can't figure out what is coming with this new area near the B&N. Given the size and area of the expansion, I wouldn't be surprised if a food court is the new venture. Southdale has a food court, and there are six sit-down eateries on mall proper, so I can't be fully sure of this. If it's not a food court, I would be very curious to see what's new. If I lived nearby there would be a Part 2, but unless I want to make one with the website directory (or commenter info), this is highly unlikely.


Arhaus Furniture straight ahead. B&N down the stairs.

The "Pottery Barn Wing" with four forms of the upscale home store. Farther ahead is Restoration Hardware, and local California Closets farther up.
     One thing I can be sure about is that the mall will probably keep put for years to come. Gabbert's is contemplating a vertical expansion. Many of the stores are mall-exclusive in a large market. Mall of America hasn't seemed to do much to the quality of the mall, as both serve different populations. The sit-down restaurants in Southdale and EG are helped by the fact that there are tons of business centers, office buildings, and HQs in Edina (Best Buy, Target has a large presence, to name a couple), and if you have a few minutes left on your lunch break, resupplying your reading material, buying a Louis Vuitton handbag for your wife, and getting a North Face jacket may be a decent idea. 

A very simple mallway.

    Overall, I think EG is a bit of a must-see destination if you're in the area. It's a good lunch stop (Good Earth is a family favorite, good pastries too) and the architecture is nice. Also take a look into the local retailers, you never know what you may find. Pottery Barn's great for whining about how bad your office needs a remodel. HammerMade is interesting for odd flannels and plaid shirts (well, some are nice). There's also less people than MoA, so you could sorta enjoy shopping. That new expansion has me quite intrigued, so you can update me on what's new :). Pllleeeaaasssseeee?

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