By the time I'm done typing the sentence, an estimated five independent bookstores in the New York metro area will have cashed in their chips and announced their defeat. By the time you're done reading it, the marvelous structures that once housed them will have already reopened as a chain of Lululemons for cats.
But there's an exception! SoHo-based independent bookstore McNally Jackson, a sublime destination for thumbing through rarefied art magazines while sipping a latte, is not only not closing, it's opening another location in South Street Seaport.
A press release sent today by the Howard Hughes Corporation announces that "the popular New York independent bookstore will set up shop in Schermerhorn Row along the cobblestoned streets of the historic district and bring a new, unrivaled literary experience to the Seaport with a refined and carefully curated selection of books, free interactive event programming, a café with outdoor seating and a family-friendly reading area for children to engage the growing residential community."
This is good news for McNally Jackson and bookstores in general, but don't forget that the same developer is pushing to build a 50-story tower on a pier at the foot of Beekman Street, to the great distress of many nearby residents and preservationists.
The pushback did prompt Chris Curry, Senior EVP Development with HHC, to release a statement asserting that his team is "exploring a significant reduction to the height of the proposed building on the New Market site," though no hard measurements have yet been released.
The company is also in the middle of a $425 million overhaul to Pier 17, including the construction of a four-story mall.