After a months-long saga, struggling St. Mark’s Bookshop has finally received a rent reduction from landlord Cooper Union (which has been having its own money problems). It’s not the full $5,000 off that they wanted, but it’s something: Cooper is reducing the rent from $20,000 a month to $17, 500 for one year, and also forgiving $7,000 in debt. The Times reports that the two parties met in Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer’s office and came to an agreement on Tuesday.
The school will also “provide student help with revising the store’s business plan,” apparently.
The news comes at the end of months of negotiations and a grassroots neighborhood campaign to save the bookshop, which has been open since 1977.
Last week, the store’s owners met with a Cooper Union finance administrator, who told them that the rent would not be lowered; at the time, owner Bob Contant told us that “We’re extremely disappointed that nothing can be done.” Never say never!
This morning at 11, Scott Stringer, Cooper Union president Jamshed Bharucha, and the owners of the bookshop will hold a press conference at the store to announce the news. We’re dropping by and will report back.