The efforts to save St. Mark's Bookshop, by the numbers
More than 36,000 have signed an online petition to try and save St. Mark's Bookshop in Manhattan. The store has been a fixture in the East Village, at various locations, since 1977. Now rising real estate prices may force it into extinction.
On Friday, Bloomberg looks at the numbers.
In 2007, the store signed a $20,000/month lease for its 2,700-square-foot space.
Sales at the store have dropped 35% since the recession hit in 2008.
The store has let eight part-time staffers go and reduced inventory.
At $88.88 per square foot, the bookstore's rent is slightly lower than a comparable nearby space, which is asking $100 per square foot.
St. Mark's Bookshop co-owner Terry McCoy says that when the store opened, the neighborhood was "derelict." But that also allowed creative ventures to flourish. "The East Village, at that time, was having a renaissance," he told radio station WNYC, "and we were benefiting from that."
The store's owners are seeking a rent reduction of $5,000 per month from the building's landlord. If they get it, the lowered rent may give the struggling store the breathing room it needs to survive. Yet $15,000 is still a world away from the rent they paid when the store began -- just $375 a month.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: St. Mark's Bookshop. Credit: St. Mark's Bookshop