The Pittsburgh bookstore says terminal builders are “attempting to destroy the little man” after leasing issues – WPXI
PITTSBURGH – The owners of White Whale Books in Bloomfield are taken by surprise after news of a national bookstore moving into the new terminal project in the Strip District.
In an Instagram post, the owners of White Whale Books wrote that they had been “exploited” and that they had “a cautionary story”. The owners said they were approached by the real estate company behind the terminal project last summer about a second location on the Strip. The owners laughed at the fact that they were simply trying to survive the pandemic.
The real estate company pushed harder in the fall, and owners said they were more willing to entertain the idea at this point. “It felt like a real possibility in an insanely stressful year,” the post said.
The owners said they moved quickly to secure their spot, signed leases, and “specifically confirmed that they are not negotiating with any other bookstore”. Then they said there was “radio silence”.
The bookstore followed suit, and almost two months later they were told, “There was no place for a beluga”. The owners said the leasing manager told them “the other one had a lease in the terminal the whole time.”
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The social media post thanked the buyers for helping the owners last year and suggested the developers of the project.
“They courted a small mom and pop shop, asked us to crawl during a pandemic year we’d been twisting and turning, and put a national indie chain down the hill instead,” the owners wrote. “This is big business that does what it always does: destroy the little guy.”
According to our partners at the Pittsburgh Business Times, Posman Books was the tenant invited to join the development instead. The store is an independent bookseller based in New York.
The terminal project includes the refurbishment of the old product terminal in the Strip District.