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Shop Talk: Vacancies mount at Town & Country Village

Original post made on Jul 17, 2020

The number of vacant storefronts at Palo Alto's Town & Country Village seems to be growing. At least nine out of the center's 59 retailers -- or about 15% -- are vacant or have "for lease" signs hanging in the window.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2020, 6:57 AM

Comments (11)

15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 17, 2020 at 6:52 pm

Landlords need to give small businesses free rent during the pandemic. There is no profit for anyone in forcing to go out of business.


14 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2020 at 11:44 am

Why is the landlord obligated to support businesses? Isn't the landlord a business that also needs to pay it's bills?

/marc


15 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Community Center
on Jul 19, 2020 at 2:17 pm

Landlords aren't making any money off of vacant storefronts. At least letting the tenant stay there for free gives both of them a chance to make money when the business reopens.


1 person likes this
Posted by Prop 15
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 19, 2020 at 9:22 pm

Great time to raise property taxes.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 20, 2020 at 11:35 am

Posted by Prop 15, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood

>> Great time to raise property taxes.

Paradoxically, it might be. If 99% of small businesses go under, then, all those building owners can't pass-through the increased taxes. The result, over time, will be reduced commercial building valuations, and, reduced rent.

Unless they are allowed to convert the space to offices for software developers.

The goal of Prop 15 should be to level the playing field. Yes, I am worried about the implementation.

==

Posted by Marc, a resident of Midtown

>> Why is the landlord obligated to support businesses? Isn't the landlord a business that also needs to pay it's bills?

Actually, depending on the zoning and terms under which the building was developed, the landlord might be legally obligated to keep some kind of small business there-- and perhaps even a particular class of small business (e.g. small locally-oriented grocery store). So, yes, they aren't legally obligated to keep a *particular* store there, but, in many cases, no they can't do whatever the hell they want.

But, that wasn't what the poster was talking about anyway. The poster was talking about obtuse landlords who feel that *someone* owes them $10,000/month because, under previous economic conditions, they were getting that much. This is known, technically, as "cutting off your nose to spite your face". A vacant store that is "worth" $10K/month, even though no one can pay that much right now.


3 people like this
Posted by tom kearns
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 20, 2020 at 12:06 pm

Excellent discussion!, but the bottom line is if the store can't
pay rent, the landlord can't pay the mortgage and then the bank
becomes your new landlord. The words "forgive" and "waive"
don't exist in the banking world. Good luck.


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2020 at 12:48 am

Town and Country has been overpriced for more than a half century. A neighbor used to have a shop there 50 years ago and left due to the high rent (back in the 60's).
It seemed to go through hard times in the 70's. Not many local people shopped there due to such high mark ups on their merchandise.

Now with the rat and roach infestation, I have no desire to eat there.

Perhaps now is the time the time to redevelop it, and let the city reap the property taxes that they need.


1 person likes this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2020 at 10:48 am

Posted by Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto

>> Town and Country has been overpriced for more than a half century. A neighbor used to have a shop there 50 years ago and left due to the high rent (back in the 60's).

I guess if they've been making that much for that long, over 50 years, then, it wasn't "overpriced". Tenants were willing to pay it. Unfortunately, many landlords -assume- that conditions won't change. They do.

>> Perhaps now is the time the time to redevelop it, and let the city reap the property taxes that they need.

"Redevelop it"?

Do you think any developer wants to build affordable housing here? We know what they want to build, because they have told us, indirectly, and, directly. Exactly what we don't need.

-No more office space!-


2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 21, 2020 at 11:16 am

No Paly students and no Stanford students.

Without the students, the number of people going to T & C will always be low and with the pandemic a shopping trip is not a social event but a necessary evil.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 21, 2020 at 4:24 pm

I wouldn't want it to be redeveloped into housing. I was thinking a newer shopping center without termites, and vermin. The building hasn't changed since it was built.Although I love the original design, it needs upgrades. Never understood how they could ask so much for rent. Things were hard for retailers even before the pandemic.


1 person likes this
Posted by merry
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 21, 2020 at 7:42 pm

After all these months we have been retrained. Perhaps retail is finished as we knew it.
Home Depot, Costco and CVS were essential, All is lost for everyone else.


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