Businesses Vacating Los Gatos, Citing High Rent

The number of vacant storefronts in Los Gatos is on the rise, and business owners say it’s the result of skyrocketing rents.

J Crew is one of at least seven vacant businesses downtown. Gymboree, Los Gatos Bar and Grill and Opa are among others that have closed their doors for good.

Opa, a Greek chain restaurant, shut down its Los Gatos location last week after it couldn’t negotiate a rent that would allow it to stay.

The Chamber of Commerce admits it’s concerning but said it’s working on a plan to lure more businesses.

“When we lose these businesses, we feel part of our community is leaving,” resident Lisa Harris said.

J Crew told the Los Gatos chamber that its corporate headquarters wanted to focus on its other South Bay stores. Gymboree, a children’s clothing store, filed for bankruptcy.

The chamber said the closures are raising red flags, and it’s working on forming a business improvement district, which would tax property owners to fund improvements downtown.

“It’s them infusing money back into the downtown they own,” said Catherine Somersault, the chamber’s executive director.

The business improvement district money could be used for everything from lights and flowers to bringing more music and art installations downtown, with the hope that those additions will attract more businesses.

This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Businesses-Vacating-Los-Gatos-Citing-High-Rent-505052441.html.

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