Reports that Trader Joe’s is planning to open a store at Cost Plus Plaza in Larkspur is welcome news to all TJ fans in Southern Marin. As much as we love shopping there, the trek up to the crowded San Rafael outlet, never sure if you are going to get a parking space, can be more pain than pleasure.
Okay, the Cost Plus Plaza isn’t that great a location. Easy enough to get to from the south (Lucky Drive exit), but more difficult when leaving, having to loop around and under the freeway and requiring a left turn out of the car park that the Larkspur city planner will want to take a good look at. Parking should be okay – there are approx. 200 spaces in the car park, which also features some great palm trees sitting in shopping bag-shaped concrete planters.
The extra traffic that Trader Joe’s will bring should be good news for the other tenants at the center. Cost Plus and Bevmo will face increased competition for the liquor trade, but this should be outweighed by new business from additional customers brought to the Plaza by the Trader.
The other stores at the center are Vitamin Shoppe, Mens Wearhouse and Party America, each occupying fairly large units. If TJs is successful the Plaza’s owners may look to re-lease some of these stores to higher-paying tenants, possibly subdividing into smaller units, which gross more rent on a per square foot basis. Think coffee shop, drugstore, bakery, etc.