Saturday, June 28, 2008

Stranded by construction, book store will close its doors
By James S. Woodman writing in NYC's Downtown Express

Strand Bookstore announced this week that its annex at 95 Fulton St. will soon join the multitude of New York bookstores that have succumbed to increasing rents in recent years. The decision to close the bookstore came after its landlord announced a 300 percent rise in rent for the Strand Annex, which will go into effect August 31 when the location’s lease expires.

The recent notice that the water main construction work on Fulton St., directly outside the bookstore, will continue into next year gave the management another grim forewarning for the Strand Annex’s survival. After the construction on Fulton St. began nearly a year ago, the Strand has been unable to place their characteristic racks of used books on the sidewalk and has seen a drop in pedestrian traffic. “Sales just fell tremendously after the construction began,” owner Fred Bass said in a phone interview.

Bass, however, does not see the store’s closing as signifying its failure as a business, but rather sees the annex as a victim of circumstance.
“The numbers just didn’t add up,” Bass said. “It was a great store. We sold a lot of books. I’m sad to see the store going because it was doing very well, but given the circumstances it wasn’t worth it to stay in that location.”
Bookman Beattie is greatly saddened by this development. This superb bookstore, that has both new and used books side by side, is his favourite bookstore in all of New York, it is only a few hundred metres from his NYC-based daughter's home and he has spent many happy hours, and hundreds of dollars there over recent years.
Read about his last visit there in January 2008.

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