Indigo still negotiating with Coles family over World's Biggest Bookstore
The World’s Biggest Bookstore is, alas, not long for this world.But Indigo Books and Music's Vice-President of of Public Relations, Janet Eger, tells OpenFile that the Coles are simply making use of their rights under the lease contract to seek out other tenants.
The current lease on the building, held by Indigo Books and Music, runs out at the end of 2013 and is not being renewed. The owners, the family of the late Jack Cole, co-founder, with his brother, Carl, of Coles Books, still own the 64,000-square-foot building they converted from a bowling alley in 1980.
"It's within the discretion of the landlords to seek alternative tenants," says Eger, but when asked if the news meant that Indigo was giving up on the space, Eger said "no, not at all."
Eger was otherwise reticent to talk about ongoing negotiations, except to say that Indigo continues to hold the lease until December 31, 2013.
Stuart Smith, VP at CBRE Commercial Real Estate Services, says "the ball has always been in Indigo's court." According to Smith, Indigo requested a rent reduction from the Coles in order to stay in business.
"What do you think is happening to the book industry? [Indigo CEO] Heather Reisman's as smart as they come. If you go to an Indgo store you have to really dig for the books these days," says Smith.
Smith says there's been a lot of interest from parties he described as "usually exiled to suburbs"—large-format retailers who, until now, haven't had a shot at Toronto's busiest intersection.
One of Toronto's retail landmarks, the World's Biggest Bookstore has been around for more than 30 years, and since the death of Sam the Record Man may be one of the last big landmarks of the pre-Yonge/Dundas Square era in that neighbourhood. Of course, the building also had a star turn in Short Circuit 2:
photo by stevenharris via Flickr.