Book Revue, the independent bookstore in downtown Huntington that has been a staple in the community for four decades, is being evicted, according to the building owner.
Emerson Dobbs III, director of 263-265 Main Corner LLC, owner of the building at 313 New York Ave., said the company had to bring its tenant to Huntington Station Third District Court this spring for non-payment of the rent.
According to court documents, the Book Revue Inc. reached a settlement agreement with the Dobbs company on August 4, including a judgment of $ 420,159.75 and the issuance of a deportation warrant beginning on August 30. September.
“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 has said every year since his company bought the building 10 years ago that he would negotiate a lease extension with a reduction in rent with Richard Klein, owner of Book Revue.
Klein said the store was closed for three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic and once it reopened it has slow and just return to normal. He said as the pandemic progressed he had had discussions with a member of the owner’s team about his negative financial impact on his business. So he said he was surprised to learn through his lawyer that the owner was taking him to court.
“I thought we figured out that when the virus subsided we would find some sort of deal or at least try to find a deal, there was always a possibility that we would not come to a deal but I thought we would do it 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 rents. Klein said he was paying “nearly” $ 19,000 a month in rent.
“He was a non-runner because he wouldn’t even consider paying the rent he owed,” Dobbs said.
According to the court settlement document and Dobbs, 263-265 Main Corner LLC received on August 4 a bank check for $ 30,000 for use and occupancy covering the months of July to September.
The Small Business Administration database shows the Book Revue received four payments from the COVID-19 Pandemic Paycheck Protection Program for a total of $ 267,378.
Klein said he used most of the money to pay the payroll of some 28 employees and to pay a 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 Revue has placed $ 20,000 in receivership, guaranteeing that it will leave the site by September 30, otherwise it will lose the money, Dobbs said.
Klein said he was really disappointed with this turn of events as he has always been a good tenant.
Dobbs agreed it was a sad situation.
“To leave like this is just sad for Book Revue and Huntington,” he said.
Fixed: The location of the Book Review was incorrect in an earlier version.