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Yellow Wood Coffee and Tea to go

Original post made on Sep 17, 2010

The economic downturn has claimed two more victims, this time a much-loved coffee shop and its companion store in the Alamo Plaza. In a recent letter, Mike and Lauren Duensing, owners of Yellow Wood Coffee and Tea and its sister store, Sage, announced they'd be closing Sept. 23. With the closing, there will be 14 vacant stores in the plaza.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 17, 2010, 4:39 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by Hal
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

Dear Emily, Glenn and Dolores,

Thank you for celebrating this exceptional loss to Alamo's potential as a community. Yellow Wood needs to be considered a VERB for the rational centering of Alamo as a diverse and fractured community. It was where neighborhoods came together in strength in 2006 and beyond. It is the place with individuals from diverse perspectives met to form community bonds.

VERBS seldom are a function of real estate. Let all of Alamo continue to seek Yellow Wood among themselves and define a place for Yellow Wood to continue. Clearly, community engagement programs from Safeway, Chevron and other corporations can make this a function of the Alamo business district and it only takes the wealth and interests of our community of neighborhoods to make it happen.

Anyone, will you please step forward?


Posted by Brad
a resident of San Ramon
on Sep 20, 2010 at 6:31 am

I'm going to miss Yellow Wood. Yellow Wood was one of those places that I liked the very first time I walked in the door. I will miss the atmosphere more than anything else. I really hate to see a local establishment like Yellow Wood go under. RIP Yellow Wood, I truly enjoyed the experience.

Posted by B. Lynn Goodwin
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2010 at 10:16 am

I will miss Yellow Wood and so will my shih tzu, Mikko McPuppers. We loved hanging out on the patio.

Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

Posted by NF Mocha n/w
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2010 at 10:37 am

How are we to "shop local" if all the local shops are closing? Small businesses fuel our ecomony. Alamo Plaza's landlord needs to look at the bigger picture.

Posted by Dawn
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2010 at 10:44 am

Yellow Wood will be missed. Beautifully decorated, friendly employees.

I would STRONGLY urge all displaced coffee lovers to consider taking their business to Cherubini, down the street and around the corner.

Posted by Oh!riley
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I like Cherubini's a lot but parking there is a problem. I hope the landlord at Alamo Plaza has considered what to do when YW closes. For some reason the preference seems to be for empty store fronts vs. charging rents that reflect the economy/marketplace. I enjoy Yellow Wood and applaud the owners for supporting the community in so many ways.

Posted by Hal
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Dear Dolores,

Please allow me to provide information on investment trust strategies for buying various shopping centers and suggest that Joe Combs might be an adviser for any planned story by EMCEB on Danville/Alamo business districts. Joe as a former Alamo Today Editor/Publisher, a real estate broker and business strategist.

First, commercial property is not judged on land value and facilities. The investment value is cash flow and, more importantly, cash flow potential. Investors join an investment trust such as the one that owns Alamo Plaza because of a confidential plan to realign and rejuvenate facilities to maximize cash flow as return on investment plus certain tax implications.

Second, such investment trusts avoid costs related to moving or cessation of businesses caused by re-alignment by increasing rents to the expected cash flow rates promised to investors and patiently waiting for business to cease operations under the higher rents.

Finally, as major segments of a center are vacated there is no remaining hindrances to full rejuvenation and expansion of the segments. A good example would be the shopping center in Danville that shares a parking lot with Trader Joe's. Such a vacant facility achieves government approval for rejuvenation because of the absence of sales taxes from vacant stores. There could not be a better time to pursue such rejuvenation permits from governments struggling for revenue.

For over ten years, Alamo has been expecting rejuvenation of Alamo Plaza and much of the Alamo business district. Donna Gerber, as District III Supervisor, provided a preview of that development more than ten years ago and we can expect a version of that plan to become the future of Alamo Plaza.

[email protected]

Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Sep 20, 2010 at 1:44 pm

The greed and unmitigated stupidity of commercial landlords will never, ever cease to amaze me. 13 empty spaces, and now 14? Lower the rent idiots. You cut off your nose to spite you face, and increase blight by letting retail space sit empty for months and years on end. Lower the damn rent by 50 cents/square foot and you might actually have cash flow, as Hal was talking about. He's wrong about property not being judged by land/location though, because that is inseparable from value.
This is exactly the same thing that will happen when the Danville Hotel project is complete. There is already massive vacancy from the Livery north past Diablo Avenue in downtown. And these fool developers and owners think they can hang another "upscale tenants wanted" sign and business owners will come running?

Posted by Georeg
a resident of Alamo
on Sep 20, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Invesco, the company that owns Alamo Plaza is bad corporate citizen. This greedy corporation is doing a major dis-service to the community and residence of Alamo. About 80%+ of the stores in plaza are vacant. Most prior store tenets were forced out by excessive rental rates. Thus Alamo residents are forced to drive to Danville or Walnut Creek for products and services that were once available locally. And Alamo/CCC are loosing sale tax revenue for community financing.

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