St. Mark’s Bookshop launched another fundraiser this week, this time aiming to draw $50,000 via Indiegogo. So what’s the latest with the bookshop’s attempt to relocate? Co-owner Bob Contant doesn’t want to say until he has a lease in hand, but he did reveal that the Bookshop has seen three previous deals fall through.
“We had a real place six months ago on Fourth Avenue where Utrecht was. It was too big for us, but the landlord decided to subdivide. He would devise a wall.”
Eventually, Fourth Avenue Owners Corp. leased the space to a tenant who took the entire space, Jerry’s Artarama. A customer service representative from Jerry’s, a Raleigh, NC-based chain of 17 art supply stores, said they would open at 111 Fourth Avenue in “the summer months — May, June, or July.”
“Things happen,” Contant said. “Especially with landlords.”
Now the law firm Fried Frank is negotiating a lease pro bono on St. Mark’s Bookshop’s behalf.
This fundraising push will contain other to-be-determined components besides the Indiegogo campaign (which has received $1,410 in contributions thus far). In December, the bookstore hosted a pair of auctions (with $3,900 in sales so far, the ongoing web version has done much better than its live counterpart, which reaped $100). And we have a feeling that St. Mark’s Bookshop will have a second “last party ever.”
If these efforts are successful, Contant said the next St. Mark’s Bookshop will be half the size and “still focus on critical theory, small press literature and poetry.” Although he would not reveal the address of the available property, “there’s [already] a used bookstore around the corner from where we’ll be,” Contant said.
In November, Publishers Weekly reported that the bookshop had found a space “near Avenue A and Third Street,” near Mast.
Ideally, the move will happen at the end of May or June, Contant said.