Price Cut for Beloved Bookstore and Former Theater SiteJuly 16, 2018
As we first reported last year:
After nearly 40 years in business, the Castro’s (second to) last remaining bookstore, Aardvark Books, appears to be done as the one-story building it occupies at 227 Church Street has quietly hit the market with a $2.85 million price tag.
Purchased by the founder of Aardvark Books for $300,000 back in 1991, the 2,780-square-foot storefront is now leased to Aardvark’s new owner/operator.
And according to the marketing materials for the building: “The property will be delivered vacant at close of escrow and unencumbered by any leasehold interest(s).”
Also noted in the marketing materials, the 3,125-square-foot lot upon which the building sits “is a prime candidate for a mixed-use development project.” And we’ll note that the 227 Church Street parcel is zoned for development up to 40 feet in height.
And having yet to find a buyer, the asking price for the Aardvark Books building, which was built in 1907 and originally housed the “Electric” nickelodeon movie theatre, has been reduced to $2.45 million.
Comments from Plugged-In Readers
Unreal that this parcel 180 feet from Church Station is limited to four stories. Fifteen would be good.
Seriously. We need another statewide upzone bill asap.
And the nasty run down Safeway on the other side of the intersection has the same layout as if it was built in Antioch.
Just look at the neighborhood and you’ll get your answer as to why it’s limited to 4 stories. Even the new developments that have gone up on Market St. are woefully low rise given the direct access to public transit. I’m not saying we need a 30 story high rise, but these corner parcels should have been built higher.
Maybe somebody will buy and sit on the property (so maybe the book store will get a reprieve, if they want one) but it seems a bit late in the economic cycle to contemplate short-term redevelopment. Design and entitlement is a 2-3 year process if everything goes well, and then another year to building permits and shovels in the ground.
Construction costs are through the roof now. The property may indeed sell, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a new project here any time soon.
People up in 17th/Roosevelt-land make political donations.
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