WALGREENS ON TRACK ... Construction is still on track for the brand new Walgreens at 310 University Ave. in downtown Palo Alto. Completion of the contemporary steel and glass, decidedly non-traditional-looking Walgreens is expected by the end of the year. Office space will occupy the second and third floors of the three-story building. The original Walgreens was gutted after a July 2007 fire, later discovered to be arson. It completely destroyed the historic building on the corner of University and Bryant Street. The ensuing, massive reconstruction project proved to be a one-two punch for some nearby merchants. Trucks, machinery and noise all discouraged foot and car traffic in the area. The construction combined with the faltering economy was too much for some: Today, at least a half dozen of the Bryant Street retailers in the 500 block are gone.
GAMESTOP BEGETTING ... It was just a matter of time before GameStop would find Palo Alto. Scheduled to move into the former Golden Loom and the former, former Men's Wearhouse at 370 University Ave., GameStop has a few locations nearby — one in Mountain View's San Antonio Center and two in Redwood City, at Sequoia Station and Woodside Central. There is also a GameStop in Sunnyvale at Cherry Orchard. The gaming store bills itself as the world's largest video-game retailer, with more than 6,100 stores in the United States and 17 other countries. GameStop began in 1984 as Babbage's, a Dallas-based software retailer. Its Palo Alto store is part of GameSpot's business plan to open an additional 400 stores this year.
DIAMONDS OF PALO ALTO CLOSING ... After 21 years, Diamonds of Palo Alto at 261 Hamilton Ave., Suite 320, is slated to close in February. Owner Israel Zehavi said the closure was due to health issues. The store plans to hold a Nov. 19 sale with prices marked down up to 50 percent.
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