Book store

Book Revue, an iconic downtown Huntington bookstore, faces eviction, building owner says

Book Revue, the independent downtown Huntington bookstore that has been a community staple for four decades, is being evicted, according to the building’s owner.

Emerson Dobbs III, director of 263-265 Main Corner LLC, which owns the building at 313 New York Ave., said the company had to sue its tenant in Huntington Station Third District Court this spring for nonpayment. rent.

According to court documents, Book Revue Inc. reached a settlement agreement with Dobbs’ company on August 4, including a judgment for $420,159.75 and the issuance of a warrant of eviction effective September 30. .

“The Book Revue is leaving at the end of September because they haven’t paid rent for over a year,” Dobbs said.

To help them stay in business, Dobbs said that every year since his company bought the building 10 years ago, he would negotiate a lease extension with a rent reduction with Richard Klein, owner of the Book Revue.

Klein said the store had been closed for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and once reopened, business was slow and just getting back to normal. He said as the pandemic progressed, he had discussions with a member of the owner’s team about its negative financial impact on his business. So he said he was surprised to learn through his lawyer that the landlord was taking him to court.

“I thought we understood that when the virus subsides we would make some sort of deal or at least try to make a deal, there was always a chance we might not come to a deal, but I thought we would at the try less.”

Dobbs said Klein’s proposed deal was for a one-year extension, paying $10,000 a month, but with no provision to pay overdue rent. Klein said he pays “nearly” $19,000 a month in rent.

“It was a failure because he wouldn’t even consider paying the rent he owed,” Dobbs said.

According to the legal settlement document and Dobbs, 263-265 Main Corner LLC on August 4 received a bank check for $30,000 for use and occupancy covering the months of July to September.

The Small Business Administration database shows Book Revue received four payments from the COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Paycheck Protection Program totaling $267,378.

Klein said he used most of the money for payroll for the roughly 28 employees and to pay one month’s rent.

The document also states that 263-265 Main Corner LLC agrees not to execute the eviction warrant until noon on September 30.

The book review has placed $20,000 in escrow guaranteeing it will be released by Sept. 30 or lose the money, Dobbs said.

Klein said he was really disappointed with the turn of events because he had always been a good tenant.

Dobbs agreed it was a sad situation.

“Coming out under these conditions is just sad for the Book Revue and Huntington,” he said.

Fixed: The Book Review location was incorrect in an earlier version.