A Happy 25th for Village Books
This year Village Books and the Robinsons had an extra reason to celebrate the store's anniversary. Last October, Village Books moved into a new building at the other end of the block from its old location and made several significant changes. The biggest: with the move, the stock of the used and remainder annex was mixed in with the new books a la, most famously, Powell's Books in Portland, Ore.
At 10,000 square feet, the new building is about a third larger than the space it replaced. The new store also has an inside entry into Paper Dreams, the Robinson's 4,000-sq.-ft. card and gift shop, a change that has helped Paper Dreams's business. (Paper Dreams stayed in its mid-block location while the bookstore moved from one side of it to the other.)
Originally the Robinsons were going to develop the new building themselves, but in part because financing was complicated, they sold to a developer. In exchange, the developer gave them a favorable long-term lease; they also own, live in and have their offices in one of the two condominiums atop the store.
Robinson called the timing of the move "perfect." Several new developments are going up, and by the end of the year some 200 condos will come on the market within four blocks of the store, adding more potential customers and helping the area. While book sales have been nothing "to jump up and down about," as Robinson put it, the new store helped make the holiday season "great." If all else fails, the condo itself is doing very well. "The value has shot through the roof," Robinson noted. "We're pretty pleased."
Village Books at 25.