A manager of the Bank Street Bookstore on 112th street and Broadway reassured fans of the store on Monday that they should not worry about the store disappearing altogether from the neighborhood.
Last year, the Bank Street College Board of Trustees voted against renewing the store’s lease with its current landlord, which is expected to rise at least 10%. But manager Andy Laties posted a message on a Save Bank Street book store Facebook page reassuring fans that they plan to stay in the neighborhood, and will keep trying to convince the landlord to lower the rent:
Many customers do unfortunately seem to be interpreting the college’s communications as if these were statements of an intention to close the bookstore down altogether. However this is not the case. In fact what the college has been saying publicly since last November, and what the trustees voted on last October, relates solely to the issue of us remaining in our current location.
In my opinion, the current storefront’s rent is simply absurd and this high rent is the sole reason for the bookstore’s financial problems.
This bookstore has a very stable, devoted clientele and I feel that we don’t need to be located in such an expensive storefront. There are good opportunities in the neighborhood at substantially lower rental cost.
Therefore, if our current landlord decides that they truly value us as a tenant, they are going to have to do some serious negotiation with us. They say they like having us. Bank Street College has been renting space in this building since the mid-80s. We are a terrific tenant. Why is the landlord not acknowledging this, and making a deal with us? Maybe the landlord will eventually come around. But we can’t simply wait until the last minute for the landlord to have a change of heart. That’s why the trustees made themselves very clear, fourteen months before the lease expires. Since the landlord wasn’t offering to negotiate a lower rent, as of last October, we said, “OK in the absence of a rent reduction we are going to have to leave.”
…We do expect to land quite close physically to where we are right now. It may be some time, however, before we settle on which exact space we will move to.
But we do have a year to work on this still. And that means, by the way, that there is still time for our current landlord to have a change of heart. We really are a terrific tenant.”
Laties notes that the store has increased its hours by 50%, added more readings and will be starting a birthday party service to help generate interest and money. To read the full message and join the Save Bank Street Bookstore group, click here.