October 28, 2014
Posman Books squeezed out of Grand Central
by Nick Davies
A longtime fixture at Grand Central Terminal, Posman Books is being forced out of its location there, Judith Rosen reports for Publishers Weekly. Due to ongoing real estate developments around the building, the bookstore has been asked to vacate the terminal, at least for the time being.
Posman has been in its Grand Central location for fifteen years, but yesterday it announced its departure via a letter being handed out to customers. General manager Robert Fader tells Publishers Weekly that the move is “directly related” to the renovations being done on One Vanderbilt, a proposed skyscraper that, if it’s completed, will dwarf the nearby Chrysler Building and claim the title of second-tallest building in New York, shorter only than One World Trade Center. Once vacated, the space will be used by developer SL Green to improve pedestrian flow through the terminal. (This is wishful thinking; no amount of improvements will stop the throngs of slow walkers from coming to an unexpected stop to gawk at the admittedly beautiful ceiling.)
The largest Posman location—it still has stores in Chelsea Market and Rockefeller Center, as well as another to open in the World Financial Center next year—will shut its doors at the end of the year, the letter from CEO Eugene Posman says. A sign outside the store also notes that it is “actively working with Grand Central to find a new location.”
Writing about the closing for Crain’s New York Business, though, Adrianne Pasquarelli points out that Posman has been trying to negotiate a new space with the MTA for years, without any luck due to lack of a large enough space. And Fader tells Crain’s that they’re open to finding a nearby spot outside Grand Central: “It would be our hope that somebody in midtown would say, ‘Hey, why don’t you come to us.'”
If this year does mark the end of the line for the bookseller inside Grand Central, it will be a big loss, as Posman’s convenience has been a boon to train travelers looking for a good read to bring along for their commute. From here on out, it’ll just be Us, In Touch, and whatever else they can grab at the newsstand.
Nick Davies was a publicist at Melville House.