Bookshop Meets Fundraising Goal, Not Out of Woods Yet

Bookshop ownersJamie Larson Bookshop owners Terrence McCoy and Bob

The constantly-embattled St. Mark’s Bookshop surpassed its goal of $23,000 today, though that doesn’t mean the beloved store’s survival is certain.

“This first big chunk at least guarantees that we will keep fighting because you have shown everyone that there is a reason to,” the owners wrote in a thank you note posted online.

Currently, the store has raised over $24,000 and still has three days of fundraising left.

But in a phone conversation co-owner Terrence McCoy said many hurdles remained. For one, the store’s shelves are disconcertingly empty due to the fact that some publishers have stopped shipping new books due to unpaid bills. The owners are seeking investors who could fund the new storefront, but thus far, any potential backers have favored the existing location, Mr. McCoy said.

“I can’t say that we’re going to instantly move,” he added.

According to the note, the move would cost around $100,000. The store’s rent will increase substantially in January as part of the agreement the owners struck with their landlord, Cooper Union, last year. Crain’s reported that the rent will be around $23,000 a month next year, roughly $4,000 more than the current rate.

Mr. McCoy and co-owner Bob Contant have scouted other locations, but nothing is set in stone. “I can’t give a time frame, it’s all up in the air,” Mr. McCoy said, adding that he hasn’t entered into any serious negotiations. “We’ve just been like people at an open house.”

But for at least one moment, he could bask in the feeling that the neighborhood really didn’t want to see his store close. “The support is just amazing. I was amazed last year at the support we got in the fall when there was a lot of publicity about our struggles with the rent,” Mr. McCoy said. “I realized how powerful the Internet was at that time. I’m still being surprised by it, and this is another example.”