After more than 30 years selling books, hosting authors, and sponsoring lectures, Books & Books in Miami Beach has closed for good.
The Lincoln Road store is the latest to be priced out by high rent.
"There is a kind of sadness leaving Lincoln Road at this point, but I can honestly that it's not of our doing. It is really something that Lincoln Road has to look inward,” owner Mitchell Kaplan said Tuesday.
He added the decision to close was hastened by the pandemic.
“I have gotten calls from people around the country...the reaction has been heartening,” Kaplan added.
Devlin Marinoff at DWNTWN Realty Advisor said landlords at the mall have started to lower rent in recent months in part because of the economic uncertainty surrounding COVID-19.
“Lincoln Road cannot survive at $300 and $350 a foot in rent. It could not happen,” Marinoff said.
The mall has re-opened, but several stores remain closed and tables at restaurants are empty.
Kaplan has left open the possibility of re-opening elsewhere in Miami Beach. He was able to move some employees from the Lincoln Road location to a store in Bal Harbour.