The Belmont Ave outlet of the regional chain Half Price Books will close before summer. Paul Constant of the Stranger does the honors:
Yes, we recently decided not to renew the lease and the Capitol Hill store will close June 2. We have great customers at this store, but not enough traffic, so we felt it would be best to focus our resources on our other seven Washington locations.
As Constant notes, there have been rumors of the store’s closure for a long time. CHS last inquired on a possible shutter in December when a company spokesperson told us there was nothing to announce at the time.
Half Price has operated at 115 Belmont Ave E since 2003. The building is owned by real estate investor Janice Jarman. It’s a massive retail space with some 14,000 square feet to fill.
The book retailing industry has suffered with the growth of ecommerce and platforms like the Kindle. Capitol Hill, as rough as it has been on its independent book sellers, is a rare bright spot for brick and mortar shops highlighted by Elliott Bay Book Company’s move to the neighborhood from Pioneer Square. But Capitol Hill has also watched shops like Bailey Coy shutter in the face of the changing economy. Meanwhile, independents like Twice Sold Tales — which celebrated its 25th anniversary last year – Ada’s Technical Books and Spine and Crown carry on.