Updated, 9/2 7:54 p.m.
Bank Street Bookstore has found a new home.
The children’s bookstore affiliated with Bank Street College announced last December that it could no longer afford to stay at its two-story 112th Street location.
But on Tuesday morning, Bank Street College announced that it had secured a new lease for a store on 107th Street and Broadway. The new store will open in February 2015.
In a press release, store manager Andy Laites said the new location has a lower rent, which will help the store’s finances. In a phone call with Spectator, he said he was enthusiastic about the new space.
“I’m delighted. I think it will be a great store. We'll be able to be all on one floor, while our current store is on two floors,” Laites said. “Also we'll have terrific windows.”
“The fact is, it is too important to the College’s mission to let it disappear,” Bank Street President Shael Polakow-Suransky said in the release. “The Bookstore is a key part of our commitment to high quality children’s literature, and to reading as a fundamental component to lifelong learning. In this new location, we will continue to need support from the entire New York City community and our neighbors to keep it the vibrant resource it has always been.”
Laites also said that the new store will be designed with spaces for performances and events—the current bookstore often hosts book signings, author readings, and activities for children and families. The store also plans on creating a membership program to fund renovations to the new location.
Bank Street Bookstore has been in Morningside Heights since 1994. The bookstore often hosts book signings, author events, and games and activities for children and families. But like many independent bookstores, Bank Street has struggled with declining revenues in recent years.
Customers interviewed on Tuesday had mixed reactions to the move, with some expressing nostalgia for the closing of the 20-year-old store.
“I might be a little sad because I like this store,” young shopper Oliver Bradford, 7, said. “We went away and I remembered it.”
Others, however, expressed relief that the bookstore found a way to remain open in the coming years.
“I’ve been shopping here for years—it's a neighborhood institution,” shopper Carolyn Jackson said. “I’m sure I'm going to walk to 107th.”
“Knowing that it's not that far away is a consolation,” another shopper, Toni Coffey, said. “It'll be interesting to see the space and if it works for them so they can continue doing the work they're doing ... planting the seeds for reading and learning."