Claremont Insider: Village Expansion - Growing Pains?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Village Expansion - Growing Pains?

The Claremont Courier had an article in yesterday's edition reporting that a couple of the new Village Expansion shops not faring well because of the lack of foot traffic. The shops are on 2nd St. across from the Laemmle Theater and both are moving because of the lack of business.

The Courier article, by Tony Krickl,focuses on the owner of Talley's for Men, a men's clothing store:

Michael Talaee was so excited about the new Village Expansion project that he was the first business owner to sign a lease.

But ever since his high-end clothing shop, Tally for Men, opened in late November, Mr. Talaee has regretted that decision. Citing numerous complaints with the management, he has already called it quits on his 5-year lease and is planning to move out of the Village Expansion.

The problems began when he was asked to have his store open by September 2007. Excited to get started ahead of the holiday rush, Mr. Talaee set up his shop, purchased his merchandise and was ready to go on time.

Unfortunately, nothing around him was open yet. Tally for Men sits on Second Street, just west of Indian Hill Boulevard. Due to delays on landscaping and lighting by the city and the developer, Second Street did not open up until late November.

“I missed out on a lot of exposure,” Mr. Talaee said. “Christmas came and went, and we missed out.”

Mr. Talaee also believes he was misled about the structure of the project as stated in his lease. He accepted the location along Second Street under the impression that two restaurants would have entrances and windows facing his business, which he felt would draw in a steady stream of foot traffic.

A moving-sale sign hangs outside of Tally for Men on Second Street in the Village Expansion. After only five months at the location, owner Michael Talaee is looking to relocate his business.

One of those restaurants, Le Pain Quotient, only has a kitchen door facing Second Street, while the other is not yet open for business.
“With the way the project is built, this street is like a back alley,” Mr. Talaee said. “Nobody ever walks by. All you see is delivery trucks driving by.”

The article goes on to say that Talaee plans on suing the Village Expansion developer, The Tolkin Group. Krickl also indicates that Celley's, a women's clothing boutique, is relocating to a different site in the Expansion.

We've heard similar complaints about the lack of foot traffic, both in the Expansion and in the Packing House.