In this case a developer is dropping 38 million for the site to build exactly what this city needs more of... condos!
Sickening, condos are a plague and really trendy not to mention way over priced and small.
It is sad to see this store go after 25 years, I could always find the most interesting books and I always bought christmas presents here (Narnia Bookends, owl cups)
Toronto is becoming so over priced and douche bag driven...
Stay away from Honest Ed's and Kensington please.
FROM THE TORONTO STAR...
It could be the final chapter for the World’s Biggest Bookstore.
The Toronto landmark — 64,000 square feet worth of the written word on everything from Tao to travel — is expected to close in 18 months after dominating the same downtown block for almost 25 years.
Indigo Books & Music, which owns the bookstore, had been seeking a “significant” reduction in rent from the store’s owners, citing a downturn in business. And while the lease on the iconic property near Yonge and Dundas Sts. doesn’t expire until December 2013, the property is already in play.
One condo developer has reportedly offered $38 million for the site, just 30 metres from what’s being touted as “Canada’s busiest pedestrian/tourist/retail destination.”
But the owners, descendents of book retailer Jack Cole — who revolutionized retailing in 1980 by converting a bowling alley into the sprawling superstore — are determined to find a new retail tenant.
“The decision to not renew the lease at the end of 2013 was based on a thorough review of every facet of our World’s Biggest Bookstore business,” Indigo spokeswoman Janet Eger said in emails to the Star.
“In the meantime, we’ll be working towards a seamless transition for our valued customers and employees, the details of which are being finalized.”
Eger said last night that negotiations are continuing, but the leasing agent said he hopes to finalize a new tenant within the next 90 days.
In many ways, what’s happening to World’s Biggest is the story of the book industry, which has been a victim of dwindling profits and, more recently, e-readers.
World’s Biggest — which the Guinness World Book of Records says actually isn’t anymore — may have boasted 20 kilometres of bookshelves and more than 4,000 different cookbooks, but regulars found it had become cheaper and more convenient to buy books online.
That way they could also avoid the store’s blindingly bright fluorescent lights and the challenge of finding a comfortable place to sit — something that’s never been lacking at Indigo sister stores with their plush chairs and coffee counters.
“The existence of a large retail space like this, just steps from Yonge and Dundas is the hen’s tooth of all hen’s teeth — incredibly rare,” said broker Stuart Smith, vice-president of the urban retail group for commercial real estate company CB Richard Ellis.
“I’ve had the biggest of the big (retailers) looking at it from all over the world.”
The big draw is location, location, location. The store sits in the epicentre of a condo boom that’s added tens of thousands of shoppers to the downtown.
While it may not have a door on Yonge St., the property is within steps of some pretty major downtown developments.
They include a major expansion of the nearby Ryerson University campus and, just around the corner, construction of Canderel’s 78-storey condo and retail complex, the tallest residential condo in Canada. Those projects, and others, are expected to kick-start a major remake of Yonge St.
The two-storey building also offers bargains of another kind: Leasing costs that are almost unheard of downtown at roughly $25 per square foot, plus $8 per square foot in operating costs and taxes. (Yet for a property that size, the rent is $1.5 million a year.)
For property right on Yonge St., costs are a combined $150 to $200 per square foot, said Smith.
“It’s a suburban site (in size) with suburban taxes in a completely urban environment,” said Smith. “It’s the biggest thing to come up for rent downtown since Maple Leaf Gardens,” now a bustling Loblaws.
But that may, in fact, be its downfall, said one commercial broker: “It’s a dubious distinction downtown being big.” Few retailers could take over the entire space and it may have to be divided.
R.M.R.P. The REALvolution...