The Real Deal New York

Cooper Union denies St. Mark’s Bookshop’s rent reduction pleas

October 26, 2011 02:29PM

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After a long, highly publicized, negotiation period with the Cooper Union school, the St. Mark’s Bookshop was informed it would not get a rent reduction, Publishers Weekly reported.

The beloved East Village shop had sought a $5,000 per month reduction on its $20,000 per month rent, and put out a petition to rally the community behind the bookstore, but Cooper Union said it simply couldn’t afford not to maximize the revenue it generated on its real estate holdings. Bob Contant, co-owner of the book store, said Cooper Union told him they’d like to rent the space for $40,000.

The bookstore first moved in to the space, at 31 Third Avenue, in 1993 after 16 years on St. Mark’s Place. At the time Cooper Union offered a below market-rate rent on a 15-year lease, which the store renewed in 2007. However, the next year sales fell off a cliff, and had it not been for a recent sales resurgence caused by the publicized rent negotiations, Contant believes the store might be out of business.

If the sales pace continues, the bookstore hopes to survive for the duration of its current lease, and find new space in the future. [PW]

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