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Trader Joes at T&C Size

Original post made by Jim H., Duveneck/St. Francis, on Jul 10, 2009

Does anyone know the size of the TJ's going in at T&C? It sure looks small, at least compared to the MP and MV stores they have.

Comments (34)

Posted by Call the corporate office
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Don't know, but sure glad it will be closer to our home for a quick run. That Embarcadero crossing will be a nightmare though. I'm guessing traffic light.

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I never drive to T&C. Too many crazy drivers on Embarcadero. I just take the bike path that runs parallel to the Caltrain tracks (between downtown and Paly).

Posted by traffic
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 10, 2009 at 4:57 pm

There are rumors of a traffic light going in at the High School intersection. Traffic workers were out measuring the intersection when i drove by last week.

Posted by not a rumor
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 11, 2009 at 12:53 am

Yes, there will be a new traffic signal at the Town and Country/Paly driveway. It's not a rumor, it was required for the development to proceed. It also has to be coordinated with Embarcadero/El Camino intersection (that signal belongs to Caltrans). But supposedly the street poles that will hold the traffic lights are already ordered and this will be functioning before TJ's open in about November.

And yes, the cyclists and pedestrians will still cross at the existing signalized crosswalk. This actually is both safer (no turning cars) and more efficient (the road is narrower so peds/bikes get across faster, so cars are stopped less time than at a wide intersection, so there's less of a queue for cars = better for everyone).

Think I remember size was somewhere between 12,000 to 15,000 square feet. Can't believe that I couldn't find an article with this info by searching Palo Alto Online!

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 11, 2009 at 2:16 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Perhaps Palo should innovate for a change and allow more sq ft for a multi story super.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm


NOOOO!!!!! I'm looking forward to the new TJ's, but T&C is going to be a parking a nightmare with even a small TJ--a big supermarket would make the center just about unusable.

Though I think, maybe, this gets to a basic problem in Palo Alto, which is never discussed. We have one large mall, but it's high-end--so stores that take a lot of parking aren't going to be found there.

Remember when Stanford Shopping Center had things like Woolworth's?

We have a lot of retail, but a high percentage of it is on the high end. The mix, more than the lack, is the focus of the grumbling.

Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Last time I looked, Stanford Shopping Center wasn't in Palo Alto.

Posted by alert reader
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 12, 2009 at 5:56 pm

Better look again, Anonymous. Since at least 1985, there has been an agreement between Stanford, Santa Clara County and the City of Palo Alto whereby all Stanford lands that are "improved" (built upon) but occupied by for profit uses, like the Shopping Center, have been incorporated into the City of Palo Alto. Academic uses and open spaces come under the jurisdiction of the County.

Here's what the Stanford Shopping Center website has to say on this basic fact(Web Link
Stanford Shopping Center is centrally located in Palo Alto, on the San Francisco Bay Area Peninsula and is situated next to Stanford University. "

See also revenue reports for the City each quarter, which include a share of the Shopping Center sales tas. Or check any local map, or your favorite search engine. :-)

Posted by Emily James, Weekly Reporter
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:35 am

The new Trader Joe's is planned to be approximately 12,000 square feet. I spoke with the Planning Department this morning and that is the most recent size they have for the store in their approved permits.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:55 am

Yes, Anonymous, the Stanford Shopping Center indeed is in Palo Alto and has been for many years. So are the Hospital itself and the Children's Hospital as will be the new hospital. However, the attached Medical School is in the County and one can walk down a corridor at the hospital and cross over the line. The Shopping Center and Hospitals are under the jurisdiction of the PAPD, but the Medical School and academic campus and faculty housing are under the jurisdiction of the SC County Sheriff's Department/Stanford Police Department. If they were on the 'campus', there would not be any review by Palo Alto to get the new hospital started.

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:44 am

Thanks for the 12,000 sq.ft. number, isn't that very small for a grocery store? How does that compare to the Mountain View and Menlo Park stores? I would hate to see a smaller store with a poorer selection. The selection at the MP and MV TJs are poor enough.

Posted by Interested
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:51 am

Does anyone know when the new TJ's will be open?

Posted by Community Center Resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm

No matter what size TJ's is, the Town and Country parking is already a disaster! They've narrowed the parking slots down so one's car's outside mirrors are always knocked awry by people trying to get to their own car.

Just where will they aim those people trying to park? The T and C parking chaos will worsen as people meander their cars through, stalling for someone about to leave. This situation already has me avoiding T and C.

Posted by SteveU
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 13, 2009 at 3:42 pm

SteveU is a registered user.

There used to be a Market (Johns Valley?)in T & C many years ago.

Posted by Sarah
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm

I hope they provide lots of bicycle parking for people who don't want to mess with traffic. There is a very nice bike path right behind T&C.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 8:05 pm

We are looking forward to TJs opening at Town and Country, the parking however is a disaster, there is now a large valet parking area.

It will be fun when SU football starts in the fall.

How could the developers get away with such a parking disaster?

Posted by Irvin
a resident of University South
on Jul 13, 2009 at 8:23 pm

I'm amazed at how many comments dealt with parking - not just for T&C, but also Stanford. Some folks mentioned biking there...but it seemed secondary.

Can folks see the parking problem as one of not being insufficient parking, but over-dependence on the automobile? I'm not saying we shouldn't drive - it's just that this community has been clamoring for a TJ's, and now that we're getting one, we complain about parking nightmares - it's like we've forgotten about the reason we'll drive there in the first place!

Perhaps folks might discuss the parking at the TJ's at MP and MV...I'm curious how they find it there.

Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 13, 2009 at 8:36 pm

The parking at TJ in MP and MV is very easy at any time, also the proximity of many other stores means you can cut down on driving there.
We usually visit Petes and the Japanese food store and the fish store plus Safeway at the same time by foot in MP.

Posted by Bob
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I feel sorry for the new outstanding Mayfield Cafe and Bakery and the terrific and affordable Calafia Cafe and Market if TJ customers take their spaces too. Getting in there now is a super problem, and last night there were no parking spaces near. It's going to be a zoo. And then there is the noontime Paly traffic and the Clinic traffic and the commute traffic. "Game Day" will be a mess but it's only five or more Saturdays per year. I think we'll stick to Menlo Park TJ's. I just hope there is parking for Douce France and Wilby's.

Posted by Shuddering
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

To everyone mentioning the parking nightmare at TC, I'm with you. I haven't been to TC for years, simply because of the inconvenient parking and the difficulty of getting out of there.

My preference is the MV TJs with easy access and plenty of parking. I often use MP TJs which also has plenty of parking and easy access.

I'll reserve judgement, until I see how the traffic lights and parking plan work out for the TC TJs, but like most of you I am not optimistic. Pity, since we'd love to have a TJs we could just pop into in minutes, but TC is just unfriendly for anyone that has to drive there.

For those of us with very young kids, biking over there isn't a practical option.

Posted by bike commuter
a resident of Ventura
on Jul 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm

Using Google Maps measurement tool, Mtn. View TJ's appears to also be around 10K SF, and Menlo Park looks like 17K SF.

Maybe the bad traffic at T&C will encourage more bike shoppers? We use our trailer to haul groceries when possible.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 3:56 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

How about full on line shopping with drive up pickup? While I am a ways from home delivery, this would extend my independence a few more years.

Posted by Too many TJs
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Jul 14, 2009 at 11:39 am

Count me as one of the folks planning to avoid T&C once this market goes in. I agree that parking at T&C is already a nightmare and that avoiding door dings from the inconsiderate is almost impossible. I also think it's FOOLISH to have three TJ's so close together and I'm sad for the good new vendors at T&C whose businesses will suffer as a result of the parking debacle that will be caused by this unnecessary additional branch of the franchise.

Posted by palo alto mom
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm

While I a very excited for TJ's, its not just the old vendors who suffer from the ridiculous parking, its also the older vendors. It took me 3 trips over 2 days to pick up my glasses at For Eyes.

Posted by Online shopper
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm don't have to be "aged" to enjoy online shopping..I already do save a ton of time with home delivery of almost all my foods and clothes!

I hate going to stores!

To too many tjs: well, I imagine whoever is in charge of putting their own private money into opening a new TJs has done the research extremely well and believes it is a good risk. That is the beauty of the private usually wins or loses on the dollar of the person making the investment, so if you believe it is a bad idea, don't invest in TJs,..if you think it is a good idea, invest!

Doubtful tax dollars would bail out TJs, so you wouldn't even have to worry about taking a pay-back back seat to the unions (if there are any) that work at TJs if TJs heads south.

Posted by Parking rules
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm

Sounds like another exception to the parking regulations like the city allowed in Arbor Real, Alma Plaza, and may allow at JJ&F. If the developer says, oh poor me, I need to build big but don't have room for the required parking, the city planners say OK. It doesn't happen by accident, the rules are circumvented.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Did any of you parking commentors notice that T&C tore down a lot of buildings last week to make room for more parking?

How about getting some facts before voicing your opinion?

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 14, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Don't you think the stores at T&C will be happy to have a store which pulls customers to the center?

The center has been dead for the last 5 years and retail sales have been severly hurt by this recession.

The commenters here should get out of their fantasy world and visit the real world.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 14, 2009 at 3:12 pm

To those concerned about Trader Joe's, please be aware that it is a private company; it is not publicly traded.

Trader Joe's originally started out with very small stores; more recently the stores have grown to 8-12K square feet. So by TJ standards, the T&C store is larger than earlier stores. Trader Joe's is not designed to be comparable to larger grocery stores on purpose. It has a different business model.

Check this link for some facts on Trader Joe's:

Web Link

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 15, 2009 at 12:16 am

Keep in mind that a large chunk of the T&C parking lot is currently fenced off as part of the construction zone. So some parking will come back when T&C opens. It should actually improve things for Mayfield and Calafia.

It's all very well to moan about our dependence on the car, but T&C isn't in walking distance and biking doesn't cut it for groceries. I promise to walk to Edgewood if anything ever happens there.

Anyway, now that we've established that, yes, Stanfod Shopping is on the part of Stanford in Palo Alto, I'll point out again we have a large regional mall that I suspect most of us seldom visit.

Posted by jim H.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:29 am

What stores were torn down?

I would think the parking would get better when they open up the entire area after TJ's is opened. The entire area where the store is going was always empty. I remember several years ago, the city was eyeing it as possible housing.

Posted by Call the corporate office
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 15, 2009 at 10:37 am

At least there will be more food for the hard-working Paly students.

Posted by Call the corporate office
a resident of Duveneck School
on Jul 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm

No stores were torn down - that area was empty.

Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Jul 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm

The buildings torn down were offices in the northwest parking lot.

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