2007_04_bn.jpgThe bookstore chain Barnes & Noble confirmed that the Astor Place location will be closed due to high rents. A spokesperson told the Post, "We'd like to stay there, but we really can't afford it."

Business analysts have rated the chain's stock to be "overweight" or simply "neutral." We suppose they'll stay open to take advantage of the seventh and final Harry Potter book going on sale, but compared to the big Union Square location, the B&N at Astor Place always seemed a little too crowded. It is, however, where the "edgier" authors give readings - we saw Nick Hornby give a reading there in the mid-1990s.

Anyway, when this location closes, it also means one less Starbucks in the area. Walgreens will be opening up beneath the Barnes & Noble at some point in the future, but with Tower Records' closing down the street, we wonder what businesses think they can make bank by opening up in the increasingly pricey area. Maybe another Barney's Co-Op?