PLEASANT HILL -- Bedding will replace bestsellers after Barnes & Noble, the city's last book store, closes at the end of the month.
"Our current lease expires at the end of January, 2014. During the past year we made numerous attempts to engage in a dialogue with the property owner to extend the lease, without success," David Deason, vice president of development at Barnes & Noble, wrote in an email. "The property owner has decided to lease the location to another retailer and was unwilling to work with us to extend our lease at the Pleasant Hill location."
The book store has been in Pleasant Hill for 19 years, according to Deason. The Barnes & Noble store in downtown Walnut Creek will remain open.
"We just couldn't come to an agreement on the terms for renewing the lease," said Jenny Hess, senior leasing agent for Regency Centers, which owns the Pleasant Hill Shopping Center.
Home Goods, a discount home-decor chain, plans to move into the 21,165-square-foot building at 552 Contra Costa Blvd., near Target. Last month, the company submitted a permit application to the city to change the facade, paint and extensively remodel the building's interior.
Although Barnes & Noble had been a good sales tax producer for the city before the recession and before e-books gained popularity, the store has not been one of the city's top sales tax generators recently, said Kelly Calhoun, economic development manager for Pleasant Hill.
Based on the performance of Marshalls, which is owned by the same company, the city expects Home Goods to generate about seven times the sales tax revenue that Barnes & Noble did, Calhoun said.
Although used books are available in the city's many thrift stores, Barnes & Noble is the last bookstore, Calhoun noted.
"We would love to have a small independent bookstore," she said. "I think there's still a market for that. There's still a segment of the population that wants a real book in their hand as opposed to a Nook or a Kindle."
The loss of Barnes & Noble follows the closure in 2011 of Borders Books, which had been an anchor in the city's downtown shopping center. The Pleasant Hill store was one of more than 200 Borders stores to close that year as part of the company's bankruptcy reorganization. Last year, Golfsmith opened in that prime space at Crescent Drive and Contra Costa Boulevard.
Lisa P. White covers Martinez and Pleasant Hill. Contact her at 925-943-8011. Follow her at Twitter.com/lisa_p_white.