Powell’s, which has been a mainstay of the Chicago bookselling scene since 1970, is closing one of its three locations next month. The 8,000-square foot combination bookstore/warehouse, which has operated in the South Loop neighborhood for almost 30 years, will close its doors Sept. 1. Brad Jonas, Powell’s owner, called the action "a stabilization for the future." While the rent on the basement warehouse area has remained steady, the costs of leasing the ground floor retail space increased, as a previously seedy neighborhood became gentrified in recent years, driving up rents.
Jonas is consolidating his warehouse operations by closing an 80,000-square-foot warehouse on Chicago’s west side, as well as the South Loop space, and relocating all warehouse operations to a 120,000 square-foot space he and a business partner recently purchased near Midway Airport south of the city.
“We’ll control costs now, since we own the building near the airport,” Jonas explained.
Powell’s two retail locations, an 8,000-square-foot store in Lakeview, on Chicago’s north side, and its 4,000-square-foot flagship store in Hyde Park, on the city’s south side, remain unaffected by these changes.