More than 30 people raised $8.35 million to buy the building that houses Warwick's bookstore in La Jolla, Calif., saving it from having to move from its home of nearly 70 years. The bookstore claims to be the oldest continuously operated family-owned bookstore in the United States, having opened in 1896. It is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.
In February, Nancy Warwick, the fourth-generation owner of the store, learned the owner of the building that had housed the store 1952 planned to sell. Warwick's would not be given more than a three year extension on its lease.
Given a 15-day window to make a counteroffer, Warwick was able to rally her local community, ultimately enlisting some three dozen people—including several employees—to contribute to a limited liability corporation and were able to raise enough money to outbid the first buyer.
The store has been given a new 10-year lease with an option to renew twice for five years each.
"Thank you to all of our wonderful customers, for your support, kindness and loyalty. Your smiles and encouragement brightened even the darkest days of the pandemic," Nancy Warwick wrote in an open letter sent to the local community and customers.