Thursday, November 3, 2011

Cooper Union agrees to reduce the rent for St. Mark's Bookshop; plus, awkward photo opp!

Things were looking gloomy and doomy for a rent reduction for St. Mark's Bookshop's. Just last week we learned that its landlord, Cooper Union, was broke. The Bookshop owners weren't expecting any deal.


John Leland at The New York Times reports the following:

That changed on Tuesday, said the Manhattan borough president, Scott M. Stringer, who met with both parties to work out an agreement. At a meeting in Mr. Stringer’s office, the college agreed to reduce the store’s rent to about $17,500 a month from about $20,000 for one year, and to forgive $7,000 in debt. The school will also provide student help with revising the store’s business plan.

Regardless, co-owner Bob Contant described the store's finances as "fragile."

Meanwhile... AWKWARD PHOTO OPP! From Stringer's office:

At 11 a.m., Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer will join Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha and bookshop owners Bob Contant and Terry McCoy to make a joint announcement about the future of the St. Mark’s Bookshop.

Who: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer
Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha
Bob Contant and Terry McCoy
Local elected officials and community leaders

Where: St. Mark’s Bookshop - 31 3rd Avenue


Melanie said...

Great work!!Now we must shop there and give them more support.

abrod said...

and don't forget to buy in cash-

BK said...

So we get to do this all over again in a year? The only real business plan for them to hope to stay in business long term is to sell something other than books. Physical media is pretty much dead at this point, and most people who actually want to buy a physical book can just go on and get it cheaper and easier than going to the store. It's the unfortunate reality for businesses like these.

That being said, no one has explained to me why they need to remain in such a prominent and expensive location right on 3rd Avenue. Why doesn't St. Marks do something along the line of Mondo Kim's and move to a more sensible location deeper into the neighborhood? That's about the only hope St. Marks Books has of staving off closing. If the owners are smart they'll use this year of reduced rent to try and find a more practical long term location for them to relocate to, which just might keep them afloat for a few more years. If they're truly a neighborhood institution then I'm sure their customers will be able to find them if they were to wind up on 1st Ave or in Alphabet City.

glamma said...

That's a plus one for Scott in my book.