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What Business Would Fit Well at this Grant Location?

It used to be Feathered Nest. What do you think this stretch of Old Town could use?

Maybe Novato Patch readers can help our local commercial real estate folks figure out how to fill some of our empty storefronts. Might as well give it a try, right?

Each week, we will feature a vacant store, abandoned building or undeveloped lot and ask readers: "What do you wish were here?"

This spot at 830 Grant Ave. has been empty since the Feathered Nest home furnishings shop became an online retailer. Old-timers will remember it as a pool hall. It's just under 2,500 square feet and right behind the town clock at Sherman & Grant.

Think about what's already on this section of Grant and what is missing. What do you think would really enhance this location in the heart of Old Town Novato?

If you're interested, call John Williams at Sperry Van Ness at 415-897-4422.

SF May 16, 2012 at 03:51 PM
A bank! Sorry, I could not resist. I
Cindy Goodman May 16, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I would love to see a winebar/fine wine shop there. It would really fit the "boutique-y" feel of the Downtown area's shops.
Melissa Kafka May 16, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Ice cream shop, wine/cheese bar, affordable clothing/ gift shop. Please no more over priced boutiques!
A. Costa May 16, 2012 at 05:28 PM
I agree with the wine bar/lounge. Novato needs more nightlife. Nothing wild like a nightclub, just a relaxing wine bar with tapas plates and california causal scene.
Mark Burnham May 16, 2012 at 05:32 PM
trek winery is opening a great new wine bar/tasting room/outdoor patio. its a block off of grant ave and should be open in a month or so.
A. Costa May 16, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Thank you Mark. I look forward to hearing more!
Brandon Connaughton May 16, 2012 at 06:22 PM
More parking.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 07:58 PM
A wine bar is planned nearby and is slated to be open in June. It's called Trek Winery. You can check out http://www.trekwine.com if you'd like.
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 16, 2012 at 07:59 PM
I just called Andy Podshadley of Trek and he said it will open in June ... sprinkler system and back patio work is being done now ...
Pam May 17, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Just to set the record straight, I did NOT close The Feathered Nest to become an online retailer. There were many factors that encouraged me to close my store. After 12 years of being in business, this decision was not easy and there is much I miss about it. There are times I consider opening another shop but, truthfully, a lot would have to change. I had the most amazing customers and that is what I miss the most however, city officials are not the entire problem. Our consuming habits are as much to blame for the deterioration of our downtown. Stores can not exist as showrooms for online shopping. Making our downtown a vibrant, attractive destination is not an easy feat. I want all my loyal customers to know how important you were to me and that you are missed. Pam Garcia
Brent Ainsworth (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 04:17 AM
I so appreciate you chiming in, Pam. What a great line — "Stores cannot exist as showrooms for online shopping." Anybody concerned about city park closures, less road median maintenance or fewer cops on the street needs to be reminded that a percentage of sales tax generated in our local stores helps pay for those services. Shopping locally is critical.
Craig Belfor May 17, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I love that analogy too. It's an insult to a business to put up with this, watching people ask for help , information, and a demonstration, only to watch them take a picture with their cell phone and leave the store. For that reason, I don't do receiving and delivery of online furniture. The price of delivery pumps the price above what the store would have charged. As long as we're on the subject, how do local merchants feel about the farmer's market? How does Flower Child bakery feel when someone sells backed goods in front of their store while paying no rent, cash labor, and with no accountability for food safety?
Worry May 17, 2012 at 02:11 PM
brent, thank you for this comment.." Anybody concerned about city park closures, less road median maintenance or fewer cops on the street needs to be reminded that a percentage of sales tax generated in our local stores helps pay for those services. " perhaps you and others will remind the city council of this sentiment. many are not sure the city council understands that city offices removing all public parking runs contrary to increasing sales tax. the city council claims that city offices will "revitalize" downtown by removing all public parking on this site, being closed every single night of the week, and being closed every friday, saturday & sunday. furthermore the city's own study indciates their office project will create a severe parking shortage day time hours. this finding despite not including the parking impact the theatre will have and drastically underestimating the impact 999 grant will have. i ask you and anyone reading this how this will generate the much needed tax revenues that the city needs?
Worry May 17, 2012 at 03:37 PM
jimbo. city offices were never voted on. the walker parking study you reference states the city office project "will severely strain the parking" downtown. this study did not include the parking impact the theatre would have on downtown (300+ seats and 2 screens). the study drastically underestimates the parking requirments for 999 grant. jim have you read the walker report? here is is for your perusal.. you should take some time to get to know what you "voted for": http://www.stopdowntowncityoffices.org/pdfs/Final%20Walker%20report%20Novato%20042211%20w%20attachments.pdf
Pam May 17, 2012 at 05:17 PM
It was the feeling of the majority of business owners that the Farmer's Market hurt downtown business but, it fell on deaf ears. I even had a customer ticketed as she hurriedly made it to her car with shopping bags in her hands. She tried to explain that she was at least supporting local business but, received the ticket anyway. As for the parking...it was and continues to be an issue from the minute the spaces were removed only to be replaced with trees. The city just can't admit they made a mistake. Imagine the problem that would exist if we had a busy, vibrant downtown!
Craig Belfor May 17, 2012 at 08:03 PM
Just an opinion- City workers will come in one per car. Theater patrons usually go with another person, and the theater doesn't always sell out. When it does, it's after hours, so parking would be more available then. I still think the city should do imminent domain on the falling apart Square shopping center, fix it up, put the city offices there in the old grocery spot, get great parking, revitalize the area, and get income from the rental spaces while keeping them for future growth. Tina- if you're reading- could you do research and find out the truth about this?
John Parnell May 18, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Are you sure about that, Jim? When was that vote exactly? Please elaborate. Didn't Novato voters vote on the city offices 20 years ago with a ballot measure regarding the infamous Taj Mahal (I believe Measure D)? They forbade the council from doing it, but wrote it a bit narrowly & didn't foresee the city ever doing an all-cash deal. However, now Michael Frank has convinced the current council that the measure won't be violated as long as they do a cash deal by pillaging the nonexistent development funds (before the state takes them back).
Craig Belfor May 18, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Just because an elected council made a bad decision doesn't mean we can't overturn it. Japanese internment, prohibition, and the repeal of the Gliass Steagall Act were all put into place by elected officials.Our children will pay for this, not just in lower educational opportunities, but in actual taxes and decreased services. All of our city offices will easily fit into the Square, with room left over. Stop accepting the resolution of the council as gospel, Jim. Democracy is not a spectator sport. We must not just watch and follow. We have a mandate from those who will pay for it(our children) to speak up.
Susan Clark May 18, 2012 at 01:50 AM
You're such a crap disturber J.L.G.
Worry May 18, 2012 at 02:59 AM
susan, craig, john, simply ignore "grimes" going forward. there is no substance with this fellow. he is an uninformed, grammatically challenged agitator.
Craig Belfor May 18, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Who votes. Hitler was voted in by uninformed idiots. Our job is to educated our opponents or learn from them. The good and bad of society is that everyone is equal.

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