F’ville to lose Barnes & Noble; Goodwill store to anchor

Bye-bye, Barnes & Noble; hello, Goodwill store.

It will have been nearly 10 years to the day from the time that Barnes & Noble opened its doors across from the Fayette Pavilion until the time it closes those doors. The bookseller will discontinue operations at its Fayetteville store on Ga. Highway 85 at the end of May.

Barnes & Noble Vice President of Development David Deason in a statement late Thursday said, “The lease is at the end of its term, and we were unable to reach an agreement with the property owners on an extension prior to the development going in to foreclosure, and then unable to reach an agreement with the lender once the property had gone into foreclosure.”

Deason said the Fayetteville store will operate through May. The premises will then be turned over to the owner/lender at the end of June, he said.

The closure of Barnes & Noble at Uptown Square will leave four storefronts vacant at the site with four others still operating.

The large space once occupied by the now-defunct Linen & Things does have an upcoming tenant. Fayetteville confirmed Monday that Goodwill Industries is planning to occupy the space next to Barnes & Noble with a second-hand store.

“I’m certainly disappointed [with the bookstore closing],” said Fayetteville Mayor Ken Steele. “As a consumer and frequent customer, I’m disappointed. As a customer, it seemed that they were doing great business. Barnes & Noble has been a good business partner, and they have been active with schools and local authors. We have contacted them about helping find another location in Fayetteville.”

Steele said residents can contact Howard Spiva at the company’s real estate department at 404-442-6926.

The closure of Barnes & Noble will leave Books-A-Million at The Avenue in Peachtree City as the only large bookseller in Fayette County.

The 21,000-square-foot Barnes & Noble opened its doors on May 24, 2000, with a staff of 60. Along with Linen & Things, Barnes & Noble was an initial tenant of the 80,000-square-foot Uptown Square retail center situated on nine acres. Linen & Things closed its doors in 2008 amid bankruptcy proceedings.

The situation at adjacent shopping areas to the north of Uptown Square is not much better. Immediately to the north where Verizon and FedEx are located, the strip center has more storefronts closed than open. And just north of there at Fayetteville Commons the strip center is mostly empty.

The Barnes & Noble property fronts the main entrance to the sprawling Pavilion shopping center, home to several big-box retailers and a movie theater.

The Uptown Square, LLC property along Hwy. 85 went into foreclosure in mid-2009.

The lease agent for the property is ColliersSpectrumCauble. Calls placed to the company about the lease situation with Barnes & Noble were not returned.