Bookstore owners exit Manhattan as rents rise

Rizzoli and Bank Street Bookstore seeking to relocate

From left: 31 West 57th Street, inside Rizzoli Bookstore
From left: 31 West 57th Street, inside Rizzoli Bookstore

Bookstore owners are increasingly turning the page and leaving Manhattan amid soaring rents.

Sarah McNally, owner of McNally Jackson at 52 Prince Street, sought to open a second outpost on the Upper West Side. But she said she was deterred by $40,000-plus monthly rents for tiny spaces. She instead signed a lease to open at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg by the fall. Thor Retail Advisors brokered the deal between Jacob Toll and Cayuga Capital Management and the tenant, the brokerage told The Real Deal.

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The Bank Street Bookstore and the Rizzoli Bookstore are both seeking to relocate. Rizzoli at 31 West 57th Street was informed it would have to vacate the space because LeFrak real estate family and Vornado Realty Trust plan to soon raze the building. In Morningside Heights, Bank Street said it had been losing money for the past 10 years and will not renew its lease, which expires in 2015.

Six Barnes & Noble stores are still open in Manhattan, though chains appear to be fast fading.

“Sometimes I feel as if I’m working in a field that’s disappearing right under my feet,” biographer Robert Caro told the New York Times. [NYT]Mark Maurer