Heights Books to Close?

The Lost City blog writes that the building which houses Heights Books is on the block for $4.5 million.  The real estate listing at Massey Knakal states that it will be delivered vacant, retail space included.

We have contacted Montague BID and the store for comment on the reported closing.

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  • http://amysahba.blogspot.com amy

    NO NO NO! that is awful news! I really hope they don’t shut down!

  • cormac

    That is the only worthwhile shop on montague street. I don’t know how it affords to stay open, but if that book shop was to close, the neighborhood would really take a turn for the worse.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Years ago, before Heights Books arrived, there was another quirky used bookstore on the south side of Montague between Henry and Clinton (maybe Nabeguy or some other long term resident can remind me exactly where) called the Community Bookstore. It survives, I’ve read, in Park Slope.

    I earnestly hope we don’t lose this one. Sic transit gloria mundi.

  • my2cents

    Yes, Heights books is definitely a gem of montague street. I love that it is open late too. We may not have bars, but at least we can buy books after 10pm! I hope it stays open!

  • AB

    Say it ain’t so!

    A neighborhood treasure!

    A REAL bookstore, the kind of “independent” enterprise that should serve as a model for other Heights stores.

  • what

    whateves. we’ve got a B&N.

  • No One Of Consequence

    Well, personally, I spend too much time reading this blog to read much else.
    Let’s see what takes it’s place, but remember, I said it first about the mortality of Montague St.

  • bornhere

    Anyone remember Womrath’s?

  • JGM

    Only went in the place once and thought the pricing on the books was quite expensive, but given that it is/was not a bank/eyeglass/mattress store or another Asian restaurant, I was ok with it. Now if a nice wine bar arrived in its place….

  • GHB

    It’s small, cramped and dusty… and the only retailer worth a damn on Montague! To lose Heights Books would a major loss…

  • Andrew

    Here’s a Yahoo real estate listing for the 109 Montague St. retail space: “Montague Street! Street level store-front for early spring occupancy. No food. About 1200 s.ft. +500 s.ft. basement storage. call 917-287-8256…”

    Given that Heights Books was “founded on April 1, 1999″ (according to its website), I’d guess that its lease ends on Mar. 31, 2009…

  • nabeguy

    Sure do Bernhere. That’s not the same one that Claude is mentioning, is it? As I recall, Womraths was on the south side of Montague, betwn Henry & Clinton, downstairs in a narrow space. Think there’s a realtor (what else) in the space now. This closing would be sad one, and just another step towards the malling of the Q, which lost most of its heterogenous nature back in the 80’s. Anyone remember Biblo’s on Hicks Street, and before that Charlie Brown’s on Middagh for antiquarian books?

  • GHB

    Yes, I do shop there. I’ve also sold books there. And I don’t recall hearing that the store is on the “skids”

  • bornhere

    This is one of those Montague Street here-we-go-again stories, I think. The rent is, undoubtedly, so high, that even if we all bought books at some given repeated interval, the store might still not be able to survive. And as I said somewhere else, I don’t understand why commercial rents should necessarily mirror residential prices. As long as that practice remains, only chains will be able to withstand the randomness of shoppers. But … I still feel a great bakery (like one with bread, too) or a fish store could do well. And I’ll miss this bit of nonmattress/phone/banking/RE/ niceness.

  • AliG



  • Curmudgeon

    No food and “clean” tenants – that was the mantra of the Brooklyn Heights Association some years back because Montague Street had to be cleaned up. So we got banks, and eyeglass stores and phone stores and real estates places that produce no garbage. They encouraged owners to rent to these type of places and we got high rents and chain stores in return. We also have a dead and soul-less street that was once a neighborhood destination. And no amount of Sunday “piazzas” is going to turn that around!

    None of this should come as a surprise to anyone as the last of the old Montague Street stores disappear. Thanks to the BHA and greedy landlords!

  • State & Henry St

    The community Bookstore used to be on Montague St. towards Clinton. Now resides in Cobble Hill on Court St. but never seems to be open when I pass by. There also was a great old bookstore on Clinton St btwn Remsen & Joralemon where the barbershop now is.

  • Andrew Porter

    The space at the corner of Pineapple Street and Henry Street, on the first floor of the St. George Hotel housing students, would be an ideal place for this store. It’s large enough, gets a lot of walk-by traffic on the way to the restaurants on upper Henry, as well as the Clark Street subway station. Don’t know what the rent is, but the place has been vacant for years and years.

  • Anonymous

    I remember Womrath’s! (People are correct about the block, and that it was in a downstairs space.)

    The Community Bookstore was where Nanatori is now.

  • A Local

    Hey Curmudgeon. If the BHA had the ability to affect tenancies on Montague, we would have a street of independent retailers — clothing stores, hardware stores, restaurants, you name it — even bookstores. There is not — and, I am assured, has never been — any effort by the BHA to encourage landlords to rent only to “no food and ‘clean’ tenants.”

    On the contrary BHA is leading the charge to get the city to use its zoning, tax, etc powers to attract independent retailers. I encourage you to join the effort — or at least follow it in the local press.

  • ME

    Womrath’s was at 144… great bookstore. Sold cards also. Waldenbooks killed it, though. Tragic.