Royal Oak Barnes & Noble to close April 5
The downtown Royal Oak Barnes & Noble will close its doors April 5, nearly five months after a local software company announced it would move into the the bookstore’s second floor space with help from a $375,000 state incentive.
The store has a sign out front confirming the date, along with announced sales on some items. It’s unclear how employees will be affected by the move, or if a liquidation is planned. A general manager deferred additional comments about the closure to Barnes & Noble HQ, which did not immediately return requests from Metro Times.
In December, Royal Oak-based software company Vectorform, announced it planned to hire 75 additional employees and move its headquarters across town to the bookstore’s location at Fifth and Main. The state incentive for the $2.24 million expansion stems from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
“It’s really a great coup to attract them as an office tenant downtown,” Royal Oak City Manager Don Johnson told The Oakland Press last December. “They’re exactly the kind of firm we want. They’re bringing a lot of well-paid technical workers … the type of workers who will spend a lot of time in Royal Oak retail shops and Royal Oak restaurants.”
Barnes & Noble’s landlord reportedly told officials last year that the bookstore has paid reduced rent for over a year. The Royal Oak City Commission later approved Vectorform’s purchase of 15 parking spaces, and tossed in an additional 75 free parking spaces in nearby lots.