DeKALB – A national bookseller is closing its location near Target on DeKalb's north side just months after a nearby large retail space that had sat empty for more than two years was filled.
Barnes & Noble, a bookstore in the Oakland Place Shopping Center at 2439 Sycamore Road, will close by Dec. 31 when its lease expires, said Roger Hopkins, the city's economic development consultant. Hopkins said the real estate manager confirmed the closing with him about a week ago.
"I talked to the developer about it, and we are actively looking for other tenants," Hopkins said. "It doesn't sound like we have a lot of options in the book business right now."
Hopkins said remaining book stores in the immediate DeKalb area include the university bookstore and Village Commons bookstores near the Northern Illinois University campus. In 2011, the DeKalb Borders store closed when the entire chain closed after bankruptcy.
In the same shopping area, Qdoba restaurant closed in May, the third tenant to leave that particular building in a year. About two years after Old Navy closed nearby in February 2012, DSW, Designer Shoe Warehouse, and Five Below moved in to share the building in April.
Hopkins said although the bookstores near campus sell mostly academic books and university apparel, there is room for potential for the businesses.
"It doesn't mean they couldn't take on some of the opportunity that could exist," Hopkins said of the two stores.
Hopkins said city leaders haven't tried to attract a bookstore to DeKalb in the past, but that doesn't mean he won't look into potential similar businesses.
Nik Kousoulas, 34, and Kristy Kousoulas, 33, both of Sycamore, were shopping at Barnes & Noble on Monday looking for a book for their son. Nik Kousoulas said it was convenient to have a store to find books. He said they may go to Target or Walmart for books when the store closes, but the selection is much smaller.
Kristy Kousoulas said she enjoys being able to go to a bookstore, and her family, children included, enjoy the experience.
"I like the smell of a bookstore," Kristy Kousoulas said. "We don't buy anything other than physical books. You can't curl up with a tablet."