Five new shops open at Town & Country Village | March 24, 2023 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - March 24, 2023

Five new shops open at Town & Country Village

Clothing, homegoods and hand-crafted ice cream tenants move in as post-pandemic shopping returns

by Sue Dremann

Four new sustainability-focused, fair-trade apparel and homegoods stores and a hand-crafted ice cream shop are the newest additions to Town & Country Village, the Palo Alto shopping center announced on Wednesday, March 22.

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Associate Digital Editor Kate Bradshaw contributed to this report.


Posted by Evergreen Park Observer
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Mar 23, 2023 at 11:54 am

Evergreen Park Observer is a registered user.

Meanwhile, California Ave languishes with many vacant lots . . . . The property owners could figure this out if they wanted to. They need to act together as more than one place needs to open to create the kind of interest and traffic needed to sustain it. Why go to Cal Ave with one store, when you can go to Town and Country and shop several plus have reasonably priced places to eat or have coffee? Property owners on Cal Ave appear to prefer to leave their stores vacant and take the loss on their income taxes, and then wait until they think they can get the top dollar rents they used to command at the height of business pre-pandemic. Very sad to see what that stretch has become. The only thing that makes Town & Country less interesting is the craziness of the traffic through the center and the difficulty of finding parking at some times of the day -- even with all of the parking spaces they have. It is a very nice environment -- not drab and run down like Cal Ave.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2023 at 12:06 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Speaking of the Cal Ave business district, one only has to look at all the empty stores that once housed dry cleaners and framers and other resident-serving businesses because the greedy landlords would rather stay empty than help their former long-term tenants.

Gotta wonder what if anything our "retail consultant" or Chamber of Connerce is doing besides conducting meaningless surveys about how many square feet if retail we "deserve"!

Posted by mjh
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 23, 2023 at 2:06 pm

mjh is a registered user.

The longer Cal Ave stores are vacant the stronger the lobby from the Chamber of Commerce and commercial property owners to expand council’s long list of more profitable businesses that can replace and erode our traditional retail locations. Using the species argument these so called “retail-like” businesses will enhance the viability of adjacent real retail. But in reality erode our traditional retail areas because successful retail needs critical mass to attract shoppers. An ever downward spiral but which improves the bottom line for the property owners whose interest does not align with the city’s need for sales tax revenue.

The most recent example being when former council member Liz Kniss successfully lobbied for fitness studios be allowed to replace traditional retail. We all saw what happened to Cal Ave after council then added fitness studios as another category of “retail-like” businesses that occupy former retail locations.

A more recent example being former council member Cormack unsuccessful attempt to lobby for Title Companies to be added to the list of businesses allowed to replace traditional retail.

To say nothing of city hall’s apparent support for the application from the owners of Town and Country Village to begin to replace some of their retail with presumably more profitable medical practices.

Posted by Rose
a resident of Mayfield
on Mar 23, 2023 at 5:53 pm

Rose is a registered user.

Cal Ave’s businesses would do better if cars could come down their street and drivers and pedestrians could see the businesses. They are obscured now by tents and chairs and plants. It’s a mess. Is it fun to sit outside and eat? Sure, but it’s killing businesses and making it less safe for those headed to the train station AND those adults and young bikers who need east/west access. Egress and ingress were already challenging before the street was closed. Now it’s horrible, so of course many avoid it and go elsewhere to shop and eat. We need to get Cal Ave back to its pre-pandemic normal with parking in front of businesses and clear sight lines down the road.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Mar 23, 2023 at 6:32 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

Speaking of Town & Country and Ms Cormack, who can forget her transparent and insistent lobbying to convert Town ^ & Country to "medical retail" weeks before the pandemic lockdown ended. She and the Planning Department were in such a rush to destroy one of the few remaining shopping centers that they didn't even bother to define "medical retail" and how much sales tax revenue PA would lose.

For once sanity prevailed.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 23, 2023 at 8:12 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

I am pleased the center is doing well. But, I can't say that any of these new businesses will draw me in. For some reason, these seem to be carbon copies of each other and not really what I would call useful retail.

Trader Joes and Paly students and their families are the likely customers, as well as Stanford students.

I miss the useful Charleston Plaza stores.

Posted by Paly Grad
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 23, 2023 at 10:19 pm

Paly Grad is a registered user.

Scott’s Chowder House will be another new Town & Country shop. I’m not sure when it will open. It will be in the former location of the Village Cheese Shop.

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