As the Galleria in Edina considers another expansion, executives at the store that started the luxury shopping center, Gabberts, are seizing the moment to seek a big change.
The furniture retailer, a unit of Hom Furniture, wants higher ceilings that are similar to the kind in its newer location in Little Canada.
Hines Global REIT, which purchased the Galleria in 2012, is going to the city of Edina as soon as next week to discuss concepts for expansion.
“When Hines purchased the center, we immediately started discussions on how we could improve our current space in the Galleria,” Rod Johansen, chief executive of Hom Furniture, said Friday. “The goal is to create a consistent customer experience across all our locations.”
One of the options being considered is for Gabberts to leave the Galleria and open another store nearby. Some have speculated that Gabberts may move closer to the Hom store along Interstate 494 in Bloomington. Gabberts has been at the Edina location since 1959. In 1974, it began connecting to nearby shops to form what eventually became the Galleria, which now has more than 60 stores.
Gabberts may stay in the center if it can raise ceiling heights, but that would need city approval. “We are going to the city to figure out what we can do,” said Sargent Johnson, the Hines executive leading the Galleria’s expansion. “How high can we go?”
Whether Gabberts stays in the Galleria, Johansen said the company is “committed to staying in the local area to continue Gabberts’ 67-year history.”
The Galleria continues to lose local tenants, as Hines has changed the mix of the center. Epitome and Epitome Papers started a closing sale this week. Earlier this year, Brass Handle left, preceded by Three Rooms, Pappagallo, Que Sera, Rocco Altobelli Salon and Schmitt Music.
Most have been replaced with national tenants, including David Yurman, Lululemon, North Face, Kate Spade and PB Teen. Two local tenants, Russell + Hazel and Lili Salon, have also recently opened at the Galleria.