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District residents may spend the most money on books, magazines, and newspapers compared with other urban-dwelling Americans, but they won’t be able to bulk up on reading material at D.C.’s flagship Barnes & Noble store for very much longer.
David Deason, the company’s vice president of development, confirms in a statement to City Desk that the Barnes & Noble on the ground floor of 555 12th St. NW—known as the Thurman Arnold Building—will shut down by the year’s end. The 782,000-square-foot property is owned by MetLife and Norwegian investment firm Norges Bank, which jointly bought the downtown office space in January 2014 for $505 million.
“Despite our best efforts to come to an agreement with the property owner to extend the lease, they have decided to move forward with another tenant and the store will close at the end of December,” Deason said. “The Washington, D.C. community is extremely important to us. We are looking at replacement locations and hope to have a new store there in the near future.”
The confirmation follows the closure of a Barnes & Noble in Georgetown on the last day of 2011 as well as the full bankruptcy of Borders that year, which had two stores in D.C. Big-box bookstores have largely struggled to adapt to changing consumer habits, such as ordering books online through Amazon and shifting towards digital media.
Photo by Lydia DePillis
Correction: This post incorrectly stated that Fannie Mae would replace the international law firm Arnold & Porter on the upper floors of 555 12th St. NW. While that was originally rumored, Fannie Mae is relocating to 1150 15th St. NW, the current home of the Washington Post.