The Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center at Ray Road and 48th Street is heading into another stage of transformation with Barnes and Noble closing its doors on Aug. 2.
“The Ahwatukee store lease will expire in early September, and the store will be closing on Aug. 2,” said David Deason vice president of development at Barnes and Noble in a statement, “We look forward to serving our customers at one of our 13 other Phoenix metro area Barnes and Noble locations and at BN.com.”
The book store has been a staple in the complex for many years. The next closest Barnes and Noble store to Ahwatukee is at the Chandler Fashion Center.
“This used to be the place to hang out before your movie was ready,” said Don Molenda, an Ahwatukee Foothills resident who visits the store weekly. “You bought your tickets and came down here for a little bit. That’s going to be unfortunate. All these things we get used to that we like are somehow changed or eliminated.”
Barnes and Noble announced in 2013 it would be closing at least 20 stores a year over the next decade, reducing the total number of stores by one third.
“I don’t come very often but all book stores seem to be closing and all print media going out of business,” said Larry Schuman, an Ahwatukee resident. “It’s sad. There’s something to be said for having a book or product in your hand and thumbing through it as opposed to going through it on the internet. To see them one by one folding up is sad.”
Mimi’s Café in the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center also recently closed. DDR Corp. purchased the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in 2012. Matt Schuler, director of Communication for DDR said the company cannot comment on active lease negotiations.
“We look forward to building upon the positive momentum we have experienced at Ahwatukee with further enhancements to tenant mix and merchandise offering,” he said.
Since 2012 DDR has increased the overall leased rate for the center to 95 percent.
“The Ahwatukee Foothills redevelopment showcases DDR’s ability to accommodate growing retailers’ demand for high-quality space in a supply-constrained market while generating strong returns on shareholder capital,” said a statement from the company.
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