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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. Read more…

Bookshop Pleads Again for Customers

IMG_0008Khristopher J. Brooks

The owners of the perennially embattled St. Mark’s Bookshop posted another plea yesterday for its supporters to put their money where their mouth is and buy some books.

“We know you value St. Mark’s Bookshop. We’re counting on you to help keep us here,” the owners wrote. “We need an increase in business in order to rebuild our inventory to the level most people have come to expect.” Read more…

St. Mark’s Bookshop Back From the Brink

Bookshop presserJamie Larson Owner of St. Mark’s Bookshop Terrence McCoy, along with Borough President Scott Stringer, Cooper Union President Jamshed Bharucha and others.

Cooper Union has eased the St. Mark’s Bookshop financial burden — somewhat.

A day after students from the school protested the possibility that they would have to pay tuition for the first time in more than a century (we’ve now added video of that demonstration to our initial post), politicians, community activists, school officials and the bookshop’s owners officially brought the two-month rent dispute to an end at a press conference this morning.

Under the agreement for the next year, Cooper Union will, as reported by The Times last night, cut the bookshop’s rent by $2,500 from its current rate, $20,000 a month.

Cooper Union will also forgive $7,500 of the shop’s debt and send a team of students to work with the owners on creating a new business plan. The agreement, which only last week seemed dead in the water, should save the store $40,000 over the next year, according to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who took credit for bringing an end to the standoff.
Read more…

Cooper Union Wavers On Rent Reduction For St. Mark’s Bookshop

Bookshop ownersJamie Larson St. Mark’s Bookshop owners Terrence McCoy and Bob Contant say Cooper Union will not reduce their rent. The university, however, says no decision has been made.

The St. Mark’s Bookshop’s fate may still hang in the balance — at least according to Cooper Union. Though the beloved bookstore’s owners have abandoned hope of getting a $5,000 rent reduction, a Cooper Union spokeswoman insisted today that no official decision has been made.

After a meeting yesterday with top administrators from the school, bookshop co-owner Terrence McCoy was left with the clear impression that a reduction of the $20,000-a month rent was not in the cards.

“They said they couldn’t do anything — that all they could do was defer one month’s rent,” Mr. McCoy said. “I don’t want to have more debt.” Read more…

St. Mark’s Bookshop May Hear from Cooper Union Today (Updated)

Screen shot 2011-09-23 at 9.45.52 AMJamie Larson

Yesterday, St. Mark’s Bookshop co-owner Bob Contant told The Local that he hoped to hear from Cooper Union today about his request for a $5,000 per month rent reduction, but knew nothing for sure: “They could table the whole thing.”

The Board of Directors has been holding regular committee meetings all week. Earlier in the week, Director of Public Affairs Claire McCarthy said the issue would likely be discussed at a meeting of the entire board on Wednesday; beyond that, she said, there was no new information.

She added that school officials are well aware of the Bookshop’s support but there is no timeline on a decision.

Meanwhile, Mr.Contant said, “All of this publicity has really helped us.” The number of signatures on the petition (now over 35,900) spiked over the weekend following a New York Times story.

Until a decision is made, the pressure remains on Cooper Union.

“Trying to look at it objectively,” Mr. Contant said, “the longer it goes on, the worse they look.”

Update | 8:07 p.m. It now appears that the story will not see it’s conclusion until the end of next month. Mr. Contant said that Cooper Union Vice President T.C. Wescott told him earlier today that the store’s request was being sent to the board’s Finance and Business Affairs Committee, and their report on the rent dispute is expected to be completed in late October. “Nobody wants to be pressured into making a decision,” Mr. Contant told The Local.