New Yorkers know and love the St. Mark’s Bookshop, a stalwart on the Lower East Side. But lately, the bookstore has been struggling to pay the market rent asked by its landlord, Cooper Union. The NY Daily News reports:
The co-owners of the book shop, Terry McCoy and Bob Contant, are set to meet with the school’s officials Wednesday to discuss a rent reduction.
The last time the two sides met, in early 2010, Cooper Union was unwilling to budge on the rent, which has increased to $20,000 a month.
And the New York Times covers the deep sacrifices the owners have already made:
To cut expenses, both owners have halved their salaries and started collecting their Social Security benefits, rather than waiting until they turned 70, as planned. They laid off all eight of their part-time workers and reduced the five full-timers’ hours to 25 a week. Still, without a rent cut, they said, they could not survive. They have no interest in adding a coffee bar or moving to another neighborhood. Where would they go?
Want to help? Sign a petition asking Cooper Union to lower the rent for St. Mark’s Bookshop. The goal is 45,000 signatures, and the bookstore has already collected over 41,000–an indication of the love its patrons feel for it and the importance of the shop in the community.