The longtime home of Shakespeare & Company is up for grabs at 716 Broadway. As we first reported on Monday, via a tipster, the store had lost its lease here between Washington Place and Waverly Place.
Our tipster said that the landlord wants a big rent hike. How big?
Massey Knakal agent Brendan Gotch told The Commercial Observer, who first reported the news of the listing yesterday, that the asking rent is now $50,000 a month. While he does not know Shakespeare's current rent, the new rate is "probably two or three times what they're paying now."
Mr. Gotch explained that while both he and the landlord are sad to see the Shakespeare & Co. go, business is business. "That part of Broadway has changed," he said. "Their lease has expired and they're staying on briefly until the landlord acquires a new tenant. The fact of the matter is that along with many bookstores, they are having trouble paying rents that were affordable 10 years ago when they signed these leases."
Our tipster mentioned that some store regulars were interested in a crowd-funding campaign. However admirable, such a campaign is likely not going to help the store stay in a space asking twice as much rent as before…
Previously on EV Grieve:
Reader report: Shakespeare & Company loses lease on Broadway