St. Mark’s Bookshop Jumps On Crowdfunding Bandwagon

 St. Marks Bookshop Jumps On Crowdfunding Bandwagon

St. Mark’s Last Stand: the bookstore turns to crowdfunding (full-stop.net)

After trying just about everything everything else to survive, St. Mark’s Bookshop is finally turning to crowdfunding. It was about time. From Brooklyn’s Broken Angel house to the Lower East Side’s Cake Shop, crowdfunding has become a favorite of beloved but penurious institutions and not-quite-lost causes.

St. Mark’s, hoping to help fund a move to a cheaper location, has launched a Lucky Ant campaign to crowdsource $23,000, according to Crain’s. Like so many other stores and people who have long called Manhattan home, the book store can’t afford to pay its rent and needs to relocate. With its rent reduction of $2,500 a month from landlord Cooper Union set to expire in November, the store is now trying to marshal funds for a move.

A long-time haven of writers, intellectuals, punks and college students, St. Mark’s simply can’t afford the $23,000  a month in rent it will have to pay come January. In fact, it’s having trouble affording its current rent—which is about $18,700 a month, according to Crain’s.

Last Saturday, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York organized a cash mob to try to give the store an infusion to make it through the slow summer months.

“We’re in the midst of some serious summer doldrums and could use a little lift,” co-owner Terry McCoy told Vanishing New York.

Besides the crowdfunding campaign, which offers gift cards and price reductions in exchange for donations, the store has also applied for a competitive $250,000 grant from Chase Bank to finance its move.

Mr. McCoy tells Crain’s that they are looking for a smaller space in the East Village, something that is about 2,000-square-feet as opposed to the current shop’s 2,700. The owners hope to pay no more than $12,000 a month in rent—an amount they say would allow them to put their finances back in order—but might be hard to find in the bastion of bohemia turned bastion of the banking class.

kvelsey@observer.com