Plans for the corner of El Camino Real and College Avenue, where the grocery is located, call for the demolition of all buildings on the site and the subsequent construction of College Terrace Centre.
According to Project Developer Patrick Smailey of Twenty-one Hundred Ventures LLC, College Terrace Centre will have room for a grocery store. But whether that market will be JJ&F is up in the air, both Smailey and JJ&F's owners say.
The proposed new grocery store will be 7,600 square feet, slightly smaller than JJ&F's current space. Despite the shrinkage, the store will be built with a more space-efficient design, according to Project Architect Tony Carrasco of Carrasco & Associates.
JJ&F have the "first right of refusal," he said.
"They have the right to choose if they want to stay," he said, "And if not, (there'll be) another grocery store."
Joe, John and Frank Garcia started JJ&F in Palo Alto in 1948. Their sons Dennis, Lloyd and John run the store today.
Son John Garcia said he and his cousins are unsure if they'll return.
"It's just a matter of whether (we) can afford it, or if (we) want to get into it, and all of those deals," he said.
JJ&F will be closing for business when construction begins and will not be relocating elsewhere, he said.
"During the construction, we'll be looking for jobs," Garcia said, with a laugh. "We're not moving anywhere."
Many JJ&F customers have been shopping at the market for the past 60 years. Longtime customers recently expressed sorrow over the possibility the store wouldn't return.
"I would be very, very sad," said Mary Strnad, a 10-year JJ&F shopper.
But Garcia was in positive spirits when he spoke about the future College Terrace Centre.
"I'm sure it's going to be great for the neighborhood," he said.
Neighborhood residents are feeling positively about the new retail/office building, said Greg Tanaka, the president of the College Terrace Residents' Association.
"People were pretty happy with the design," he said, noting residents viewed the plans at an October meeting. "People seemed to be supportive."
College Terrace Centre is set to be three-stories high with two upper floors of office space, possibly for medical services, and ground-floor retail.
"Once this happens, it'll be pretty nice," Tanaka said. "One thing that is pretty neat is all the parking."
There will be two levels of underground parking -- 227 parking spaces -- below College Terrace Centre, besides 37 curbside and surface parking spaces.
The redevelopment will also include a small park and environmentally friendly construction.
Developers plan to line the roof of the buildings with photovoltaic solar panels and skylight windows in order to save energy and create natural lighting. Bamboo plants will line the exterior of the facility to provide shade for the building. The water used to maintain the bamboo is expected to help cool nearby roads, according to developers.
Smailey said they will also be using recyclable materials through the rebuilding process.
It will still be a few years before College Terrace Centre will be completed.
"We started this process in about 2003," Smailey said. "If we are able to stay on our projected schedule, we hope to have completed the permit process in about a little over a year, and we anticipate construction to take between 12 to 18 months -- that's my optimistic view."
Asked how long it would take if he isn't able to stay on schedule, Smailey laughed. "I've never been accused of being pessimistic."