Shop Talk: | October 4, 2006 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - October 4, 2006

Shop Talk:

Trader Joe's rumor waddles through Town & Country

by Daryl Savage

JUST DUCKY . . . If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, then why isn't it a duck? "It is," says a credible source who insists that Trader Joe's is a go for Palo Alto's Town & Country Village Shopping Center. But James Ellis of Ellis Partners, the San Francisco-based company that owns T&C, is playing coy. "We have no such commitment from this or any other tenant like it," Ellis said in an e-mail. However, the source says Trader Joe's is primed to move into the premium corner spot, next to Long's Drugs and facing Palo Alto High School and the high-visibility Embarcadero Road. The estimated 15,000-square-foot space purportedly will wrap around into the area formerly occupied by an airline-ticket office. Trader Joe's corporate suits have repeatedly issued strong denials about a Palo Alto location -- until now. On Monday, a Joe's spokeswoman admitted to the specialty grocer scoping out a location in Palo Alto, without divulging any specifics. "We have a couple of areas that we're looking into," Marci Hedegard said Monday, but "nothing is confirmed." She gave it a year to 16 months before plans would be revealed. But, hold on: Two men with blueprints were spotted at T&C last week, eyeing that exact location next to Long's, which is currently hidden behind green drapes. When they were asked if Trader Joe's would be the new tenant, they looked at each other and nodded a big yes. Ellis, when told of the men with blueprints and asked a follow-up question -- "Could it be that while there is no signed commitment there are explorations/discussions/negotiations?" -- replied only: "Sounds like the construction guys know more than I do." Good answer. Did I hear a quack?

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Heard a rumor about your favorite store or business moving out, or in, down the block or across town? Daryl Savage will check it out. She can be e-mailed at shoptalk@paweekly.com.

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