"No clear path for the location to be profitable with the skyrocketing rents"
The Half Price Books location in the Rice Village neighborhood of Houston closed its doors last week following a 40 percent increase in rent, the Rice Thresher reported.
"Rent costs in the area have gone up to the point where we can no longer afford to stay in our current location," Emily Bruce, HPB's public relations manager, said. "We've looked for another location nearby but have not been able to find a viable option, as of now."
Rice Village has undergone quite a bit of change recently, with a number of investment companies buying property and enacting "their new visions for the district," according to the Thresher. Several new businesses, including two high-end restaurants, have opened in the area around Half Price Books, driving up overall rent costs.
The bookstore's management team was unable to reach a compromise with the store's landlord, Dutch Line Properties. Bruce said they considered subleasing a portion of the space, but even then there was "no clear path for the location to be profitable with the skyrocketing rents."