FOLLOWUP: Final days for Westwood Village Barnes & Noble

Three months after we reported that the Westwood Village Barnes & Noble would close this month, it’s in its final days. As the sign says, January 12th is its final day – the store staff tells us the hours on Saturday will be 9 am to 9 pm, and then it’s closed forever, after 13 years. No official word yet on the space’s future.

47 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Final days for Westwood Village Barnes & Noble"

  • mok4315 January 7, 2019 (1:40 pm)

    This breaks my heart. It’s sad when any bookstore shuts down, but this one in particular I frequent at least twice a week. Great place and staff. I was told they were leaving because their rent doubled. Wonder if a new tenant has already been lined up for the past few months. 

  • Ex-Westwood Resident January 7, 2019 (2:10 pm)

    Lease went from $22,000 to over $50,000 per year according to the staff member I spoke with.No plans have been released, but if I was a betting man, I’d place money on the space being taken over by Target for an expansion; Pharmacy, bigger grocery area and warehouse space, maybe even a true food place.

    • sw January 7, 2019 (3:14 pm)

      Nailed it.  I placed the same bet when I heard of the closure.  Sad, as it was a nice store to have in the Village.  

      • J January 7, 2019 (4:10 pm)

        How would that work when the existing target lot is separately owned and operated from westwood village? 

    • HS January 7, 2019 (4:29 pm)

      Those numbers don’t sound accurate to me for commercial rent on a huge space. Perhaps you meant monthly? Westwood is one of the urban villages in WS – lots of growth expected for that area. 

      • Mike January 7, 2019 (7:15 pm)

        Pretty sure they meant monthly.  Even $50k/year is cheap rent per sq/ft in any place around Seattle.  People pay $15k/ year for renting studio apartments in Seattle.

    • Peter January 7, 2019 (5:13 pm)

      Are you kidding? The management of that Target can’t even keep the store stocked. I call it the Soviet of Target because of the empty shelves. They are not up to managing a larger store 

  • Mike January 7, 2019 (2:29 pm)

    Sad.  Very sad.

  • Buttercup January 7, 2019 (2:37 pm)

    Sad to see them leave. I also worry about Chico’s leaving, I heard a couple of years ago they were struggling with rent increase and that was the reason Pier 1 left. I don’t think Target is part of the Westwood Village ownership. Be surprisd if they expanded into that huge space. Lots of issues with people gathering signatures ( it does still happen), people begging for money and shop lifters. I’d rather drive south than deal with that crap. 

    • Kathy January 7, 2019 (4:06 pm)

      People gathering signatures is democracy in action. I volunteered to collect signatures for the first time in my life in support of Initiative 1000 to repeal the ban on affirmative action because I was shocked to learn that Washington is one of only 8 states with such a ban. I am happy to report that the initiative gathered way more signatures than necessary and the petition was carried to the legislature last Friday.When I see people gathering signatures, I approach them for a few seconds to find out what it is about. I don’t always agree or sign, but it blows my mind how high a percentage of people act like signature gatherers have the plague, avert their eyes and pretend not to see them. Aren’t they at least interested to find out what the issue is, how they can get more information,  and whether they oppose or support it?  This lack of engagement in the way the laws of our state are formed is not good for our democracy, in my opinion.

      • CW January 7, 2019 (7:54 pm)

        I avoid signature gatherers because I’m under the impression that the majority are people paid to gather signatures, not people who are dedicating time to an issue they care about deeply.  It’s not because I’m not engaged, but rather because I oppose that methodology – brings to mind vote buying for me!

      • Robin January 9, 2019 (8:51 pm)

        That is so great to hear, Kathy!  Thanks for helping to gather signatures. I’m one of the people who signed-at Westwood Target no less!

  • Curious January 7, 2019 (2:51 pm)

    Yeah, Target needs an overhaul!….well, so many stores there do.  Maybe a bigger QFC?! :-)

  • Brontosaurus January 7, 2019 (3:20 pm)

    Really sad to see B&N go. So many happy memories of having coffee there with my mom, and looking at books with my son. I wondered if it was closing due to poor sales but talked to the manager and he said this store was one of the top performing stores in the nation! Unfortunately, the landlords raised the rent so that it was on a par with downtown Seattle. I would like to know why the Westwood Village landlords have put the rent up so high that it has forced out national chains. like B&N and Pier 1. Could the WSB find out? What is their rationale behind this and what future do they see for Westwood Village?

    • J January 7, 2019 (4:12 pm)

      I wonder if they are preparing to sell Westwood village. Sometimes real estate investments are more appealing with vacancies because it allows buyers to reinvent the space 

    • sw January 7, 2019 (4:40 pm)

      That was the case with Pier1, and others.  I’d be interested to know what data the property managers are using to set their rents as Westwood Village is not a U Village or other high-rent district.  If they are looking at property values on the peninsula, they may be skewing the wrong direction with what they think they can charge.  A lot of patrons come from the East or South parts of the area, which is decidedly different than those with Beach Drive addresses.  Are these decisions being made offshore?  Do some digging.

      • HS January 7, 2019 (6:03 pm)

        The average home price in neighboring Westwood is $550k… nothing wrong with bringing in stores appealing to the neighborhood demographic.

  • Mr.Watters January 7, 2019 (4:09 pm)

    Amazon store?

  • CA January 7, 2019 (4:40 pm)

    some employees said it will be an amazon store :/ 

    • WSB January 7, 2019 (5:15 pm)

      Haven’t seen any Amazon stores of that size. Anyway, Madison Marquette (which manages the center) has not responded to our inquiries about the space’s future, and there’s nothing in permit files.

  • Zmmr January 7, 2019 (4:44 pm)

    It is time for West Seattle to have her own hospital. Does not need to be huge..just for inpatient cases.No more going across the bridge 

    • Peter January 7, 2019 (5:08 pm)

      Better start working on that Certificate if Need. 

    • dsa January 7, 2019 (6:41 pm)

      Again?  And what do you mean “just for inpatient cases?”

    • Seattlite January 7, 2019 (11:14 pm)

      West Seattle did have its own hospital once upon a time in the Alaska Junction. I think the so-called emergency clinics have taken the place of full-fledged hospitals.

  • dsa January 7, 2019 (4:46 pm)

    Sad, diversity is what shopping centers are all about.

  • Peter January 7, 2019 (5:17 pm)

    Anyone else remember the 80s/early 90s when everyone hated B&N for driving other bookstores out of business? Good times. Of course, we’ve all moved on to another scapegoat now, and B&N is the beloved old guard. 

  • DBurns January 7, 2019 (5:19 pm)

    I doubt that the rent story is true. Perhaps that’s what they have told the staff or told them to say. Commercial leases are generally negotiated at signing. I know for sure that theirs was, at minimum, 10 years, most likely with another 5 or 10 option,  also locked in at a set price. The only annual increases would be CAM fees which do raise the rent a bit but nowhere near double. Barnes and Nobles stores are closing all over the country – if it’s due to rent, that could be true but it’s highly doubtful that it’s due to an increase they didn’t sign on for. You can blame Amazon but it’s kind of ironic because when all the little book stores closed they blamed Barnes and Noble. Hmmmm. Things evolve. I predict stacked condos with retail in the WWV space within 10 years. 

    • JV January 7, 2019 (10:16 pm)

       Condos and mixed use would be way better here. This is such a zombie mall in a weird location. Definitely not rent skyrocketing, unless the landlord is metaphorically on crack (not unheard of). They have trouble keeping the place full. 

  • Mama suze January 7, 2019 (6:17 pm)

    It would be nice if Westwood were more like The Landing in Renton…… restaurants, movie theater, not terribly high end stores but places people van afford!

  • Katie January 8, 2019 (2:58 am)

    With it closing, what are the bookstore options in west seattle? 

    • WSB January 8, 2019 (10:03 am)

      Pegasus Book Exchange, which sells some new books as well as the used ones represented by its name. We hope to spotlight them soon. given their impending status as West Seattle’s last bookstore – TR

  • Fred January 8, 2019 (5:48 am)

    A good time to visit https://www.indiebound.org/ – they let you pick the local, independent bookstore you want to support and they ship your books right to you. 

  • James January 8, 2019 (1:13 pm)

    Are they having a sale? Got a gift card for Christmas!

  • Walter January 8, 2019 (1:26 pm)

    I’m on the Uwajimaya train. Would love to see them in the B&N space.

    • Ryan January 9, 2019 (8:38 am)

      Uwajimaya gets my vote of confidence!

  • CB January 8, 2019 (3:16 pm)

    I’d love to see a gym in the B&N space. Something better suited to serve the area rather than the outdated 24 Hour Fitness that’s crammed between Big 5 and Wing Stop.

  • Caitlin January 8, 2019 (4:11 pm)

    I’ve been trying to lease a space in Westwood Village for my business OUTER SPACE Seattle, but they wont lease to us because they say some of their tenants have an exclusion on our use. This could be removed with a waiver, but they do not want to get a waiver signed.  While the rent is astronomical, we feel that having our Indoor playspace in Westwood Village would be ideal for bring West Seattle families together as it is so centrally located. And we are gathering signatures to show them how many people would like to see is there. Please check it out, and sign https://www.gopetition.com/petitions/bring-outer-space-seattle-to-westwood-village.html?fbclid=IwAR0yxYhwrkw7YW9mjNvbzw1ao2ARqix5nRk3DYFwtSdbXr5HWAKusOp_xd4 

    • WSB January 8, 2019 (10:39 pm)

      What possible conflict could WWV have with a playspace? I get why some spaces are labeled “no food” – restaurant next door, etc. – but I can’t think of anything there that would be considered a similar or conflicting business.

      • Caitlin January 9, 2019 (5:55 pm)

        It’s not a non-compete clause, as in another restaurant. It’s an exclusion clause, as in Westwood Village’s contracts that they used with tenants exclude play. It’s ridiculous. They said they would need to get a waiver from the tenants with that exclusion in their lease. I honestly don’t know if it is true. And I’m pretty sure they haven’t even asked these tenants if they would sign said waiver. If anything, we would draw more business! 

  • Lon January 8, 2019 (9:53 pm)

    An indoor playspace at Westwood would be fantastic, and a great use of one of those vacant storefronts.  Every time I visit Westwood Village, it feels like it’s a little bit closer to total retail death, and yet we’re always hearing about tenant-hostile behavior from the management, like this latest episode with B&N.  How is this possibly a competent way to run a shopping center?

  • Josh January 9, 2019 (4:02 pm)

    Does anyone know what’s going on with the Pizza place there? Sounds like everyone is saying lease rates are so high, they must be paying a lot to just let it sit empty?

    • WSB January 10, 2019 (1:36 am)

      Westwood Village has several empty spots, including that one.

  • 1994 January 9, 2019 (8:59 pm)

    2018 property tax bill $905,552 per King County Assessor web site.

    Appraised value:$82,477,200 for Westwood Village

    Target is separate

    Appraised value:$10,936,000 Prop tax paid $143,866.52
  • IheartBurien January 9, 2019 (9:38 pm)

    If you’re looking for another bookstore please check out Page 2 Books in Burien!! Tons of great books and gifts!  It’s a wonderful local bookstore.  And while you’re there check out Pickled and Preserved and The Oilery across the street.  So many great places.

  • Eric - Paperboat Booksellers January 11, 2019 (6:20 am)

    We are a new bookstore coming to West Seattle, currently looking at spaces and may have found the perfect one. We will definitely be smaller than the B&N but we hope to fill some of that void.  Thank you! Independent bookstores are alive and well! 

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