MING'S NOT CLOSING AS PLANNED...
DOWNTOWN OFFICE SPACE TAKES OVER RETAIL...
Two prime retail spaces in downtown Palo Alto are gone. The prestigious think tank Institute for the Future recently moved into 201 Hamilton Ave., at the corner of Emerson Street. The organization takes over the spaces of two retailers: the 10,000-square-foot site that was formerly Diddam's Party and Toy Store (Diddams left in 2010 and the double storefront has been vacant ever since) and the former Waterworks, the designer kitchen and bath showroom whose space was recently converted into a temporary home for an art gallery. The extended office space for Institute for the Future, a nonprofit that started 46 years ago and specializes in long-term forecasting, now takes up half a city block. "We're excited to have Institute for the Future headquartered on Hamilton but quite sad our downtown storefronts have changed over from retail to office. I'm not quite sure how this one happened," said an industry observer, adding that the likelihood of a commercial space reverting back to retail is almost non-existent. But Thomas Fehrenbach, Palo Alto's economic development manager, said that because Institute for the Future is a nonprofit, the move was considered a "permitted use within that zoning."
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