Bronx elected officials are reacting to news that national retail bookseller Barnes & Noble has committed to return to The Bronx, following the announcement of the impending closure of their existing store in Bay Plaza.
“We are a borough of book lovers, and Barnes & Noble has been an institution in The Bronx for nearly two decades. I share the concerns of my constituents that they will depart Bay Plaza. However, I understand that the business of selling books is going through a transformation, and that Barnes & Noble is adjusting their business model to reflect a new reality,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Barnes & Noble has made a commitment to return to The Bronx, and the people of this borough look forward to welcoming them back in the near future. We are also grateful to Prestige Properties and their CEO, Sam Shalem, for their previous efforts extend Barnes & Noble’s lease and their commitment to hold space in their retail center for the bookseller should they choose to return to Bay Plaza.”
Borough President Diaz added, "My office will continue to work with Barnes & Noble in the coming months to help identify potential locations for new retail sites in our borough that will work with their updated business model, and we will continue to support our libraries, as well as independent bookstores and other businesses that connect Bronxites with books.”
“Though I am saddened that Barnes & Noble will no longer operate at their current location in Bay Plaza, I appreciate that the company today has reaffirmed its commitment to operating a brick and mortar store in the Bronx,” said Congressman Eliot Engel. “Our borough is thriving, and I believe the presence of stores like Barnes & Noble is vital to its continued success. Over the years, Barnes & Noble became part of the fabric of Co-op City, serving hundreds of people every day as the only active bookstore in the borough. It is my hope that as the company begins its search for a new location, it will strongly consider remaining a part of the community by keeping a store open in Co-op City.”