The Galleria is a 417,000 square-foot, mostly single-level upscale enclosed shopping mall in Edina, Minnesota, an upscale suburb of Minneapolis. Anchored by Gabbert’s furniture, Crate and Barrel, Barnes and Noble, and a Westin Hotel, The Galleria is an upscale complement to a super-regional mall, Southdale Center, which is located across the street.
In 1976, twenty years after Southdale was developed by famous mall-mastermind Victor Gruen, Gabbert’s furniture opened a store across 69th Street from Southdale’s south entrance. That same year, construction began on a row of shops to complement Gabbert’s. Eventually, these shops became the enclosed mall that stands today.
The Galleria is unique, not only because it sits less than 300 feet from one of the country’s first shopping malls, but also because it has a relatively narrow, long corridor and an eclectic mix of upscale shops and restaurants. The Galleria is what I’d call an “upscale mom mall” – it caters to the well-to-do 35-54 female set fairly well, with stores like Pendleton, L’Occitane, J. Jill, Coach, Chico’s, along with upscale salons and stationery stores. There are many Volvos, Range Rovers, and German luxury cars in the parking structure here, which is located beneath the mall’s main level along with a handful of additional stores. This makes sense, considering Edina, Eden Prairie, and environs are some of the more upscale suburbs in the Twin Cities area.
The Galleria continues to be a successful, upscale ancillary to Southdale, even in spite of stark competition from other Minneapolis-area retail centers, such as Eden Prairie Center and the Mall of America. However, The Galleria’s upscale and specialty-store niche will continue to work in its favor, even despite having no traditional anchors.
We’d like to know more about the history of The Galleria. Has it always been enclosed, and was it built in a modular style? We’d also like to see more cohesion between The Galleria and Southdale. It seems they can co-exist, so why not tie them together more? Southdale’s row of restaurants and south entrance line up nicely with the Galleria’s north entrance by Gabbert’s, separated by only 300 feet and across 69th street. It would be really neat if they were skywalked, or at least had a dedicated and obvious pedestrian connection that was well-signed and marketed throughout both centers. I believe both centers would benefit from the complementarity, despite being separately owned.
This Best Buy sign is actually not part of The Galleria. It’s across the street and currently Best Buy’s oldest operating store, but not for long as it’s one of the 50 stores Best Buy is closing due to their recent financial woes. I thought it was neat though, because it’s an earlier pre-pricetag version of Best Buy’s logo.
I took these pictures of The Galleria back in April 2010.