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By Tim Hunt

Local businesses that serve

Uploaded: Dec 13, 2012

You've got to hand it to the Simon Property Company. They didn't waste any time.
With the newly opened Paragon Outlets on the western edge of Livermore providing an attractive shopping alternative to its Stoneridge Mall, the company bought the fully leased outlet center from Paragon last week. Traffic on opening weekend at the mall created near gridlock on Interstate 580 as well as other roads as 350,000 shoppers flooded the center.
The Simon firm immediately renamed it with its "Premium Outlets" brand, giving it an impressive series of properties in Northern California—Gilroy, Vacaville, Napa, Petaluma and Folsom. The Livermore Valley site boasts the most outlet stores from upscale retailers—an enviable lineup that undoubtedly attracted the attention of Simon executives concerned about maintaining market share.
With the acquisition, Simon will maintain its dominant position among Livermore Valley shopping centers.
It's nothing new for Simon, which is the largest owner of retail space in the world—241 million square feet in 332 centers in North America and Asia.
There are some companies that you appreciate. I have been a long-time customer of Atom Appliance in Livermore and have been consistently impressed with their service and expertise.
My Maytag washer finally is dying after about 20 years. When the home warranty company offered a replacement instead of a repair that was way too expensive, I went to the Maytag web site to find out the specs on my current model. I couldn't find out the capacity of the tub—whether on the web site or when I called a representative.
So I called my friends at Atom. I gave the gentlemen the model number and he immediately told me the capacity of the 20-year-old machine. That's expertise combined with quality customer service.
I had the same experience at Valley Plumbing in Pleasanton, walking in with a cell-phone picture of my shower handle that wasn't functioning well (mixing hot and cold was too much of a challenge). The gentleman thought it was a Price Pfister and pulled out a valve core to show me how to change it.
I did some preliminary dis-assembly and went back with another set of pictures. The fixture was quickly identified as a Moen—the replacement core provided along with a special tool that I can return if I don't need it. Add in the step-by-step hands-on demonstration of how to change it and I was ready to go.
The common factor—locally owned small businesses with a commitment to customers and quality service.