The Washington Post

In about face, Barnes & Noble agrees to one-year extension at Union Station

Washington book lovers, take comfort. At least for another year.

Twenty-four hours after saying Barnes & Noble planned to close its store in Union Station at the end of the year, a company spokeswoman said Thursday that the company has received and accepted a one-year extension from its landlord and will keep the store open at least through 2013.

On Wednesday, Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said the company had been told that its space would be redeveloped. The retailer considered other spaces in the station, but opted to close instead.

But a day later, she said a new deal was in place.

“Following your story, the developer reached out to us to offer us a one-year extension on our lease, which we are going to sign,” she said in an e-mail Thursday. “Therefore, the store will not be closing at the end of the year.”

Ashkenazy Acquisition, the New York City developer that leases space in the station through an agreement with the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, has not returned calls for comment.

Why the reversal? Keating said Barnes & Noble received the new offer shortly after the news broke of the store’s closing. Many online commenters lamented the news.

“I am told the developer called and extended the offer shortly after your story posted,” she said.

Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz

Jonathan O'Connell has covered land use and development in the Washington area for more than five years.



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