New Toyota Research Institute eyes startups


 

Researchers are working on developing Toyota’s first driverless cars – and it’s happening just two miles from downtown Los Altos.

The Japanese company established its billion-dollar Toyota Research Institute in January 2016 on El Camino Real to expand on its exploration into robotics and artificial intelligence in regard to autonomous vehicles.

No food yet, but construction process continues at awaited downtown eateries


MEGAN V. WINSLOW/TOWN CRIER
Construction continues at Morsey’s Farmhouse Kitchen & Cheese, which includes an extensive kitchen expansion and interior renovation.

Three downtown locations that have drawn local curiosity remain in the construction process, but the end is in sight for at least one.

Kal and Yulia Morsey’s buffalo milk cafe, Morsey’s Farmhouse Kitchen & Cheese, has begun to take shape at 134 Main St. with extensive kitchen expansion and interior renovation.

Pharmaca departs, diners turn up to a Turn in limbo


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca announced it was calling it quits this month with a liquidation sale that emptied shelves.

Pharmaca, the wellness and beauty store at 400 First St., called it quits this month after two years in the new development between Cetrella and Safeway in downtown Los Altos.

A retail-only offshoot of an integrative pharmacy founded in Boulder, Colo., Pharmaca’s opening in 2015 drew curious newcomers, but business petered in the months following. The store’s parent company announced the closing only days before inventory entered a liquidation phase, with 50 percent off everything in the store.

Email scams target real estate transactions

Criminals continue to hack email accounts, and many are specifically targeting real estate professionals and their clients.

In such scams, the hackers send an email that appears to be from a realtor or title officer involved in a transaction. The email is sent to a client, usually a buyer who is ready to wire the remainder of a down payment to close escrow. The email informs the client of a last-minute change to wiring instructions and directs the buyer to wire funds directly to a fraudulent account.

Transactions

Los Altos

103 Arbuelo Way, R. Ebert to S. Thirumalai for $3,600,000

2016 Crist Drive, R. & M. Heatley to B. Partridge for $2,825,000

Kids' space closes as LACI prepares for State St. overhaul


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Play! provided a sprawling kid-oriented indoor space for celebrations such as Mountain View resident Logan Grosskurth’s third birthday.

Local parents mourned the loss of an unusual local resource when Play! Los Altos, one of the area’s premier children’s play spaces, had closed. News of the closure spread via the parenting blog Silicon Valley Toddler and elsewhere within hours of the announcement last week. Families from Los Altos, Mountain View and around the region weighed in to regret the loss of a “creative” space at the same time they lamented its reputation for pricey entrance fees.

Play! Los Altos representatives announced July 17 that they were closing their 170 State St. location, effective immediately.


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