Epilogue Books looking for a new location

The sign above Epilogue Books says it all, “corner retail space for lease.”

We spoke with Nathan at Epilogue who says that they’re not renewing their lease at the corner of NW Market and 20th Ave NW, and they’re currently looking for another location, hopefully in Ballard. Another used book shop, Abraxus Books, recently left Ballard for lower Queen Anne. Epilogue is the third business to leave this intersection this year: All the King’s Flags closed in January and Ballard Camera is currently having their going-out-of-business sale. On a bright note, All the Best Pet Care did move in to the empty space on the southeast corner. (Thanks Laura for the tip! All the Best Pet Care is a My Ballard sponsor.)

Geeky Swedes

The founders of My Ballard

43 thoughts to “Epilogue Books looking for a new location”

  1. Well, there's a lot of boarded/papered store fronts to choose from…
    Sq footage in Ballard is too expensive.
    I must be missing something, isn't an occupied building generating more revenue than an empty one?
    Pssssst, quit pricing Ballard out of the market place ya jerks.

  2. liking a book store because it is quaint doesn't pay the bills. natural selection. Sad for the owners but when was the last time you bought something from there, and how much did you spend? Thought so.

    Personally, I like the new shops too. But then I also pass Bergen Place and see nothing but couples sitting or people reading the stones.

  3. Matt, this is the bookstore I shop in. Don't presume the people sad to see it go are just being sentimental. I read a lot. And my bookstore was Epilogue.

  4. I liked Epilogue, but their current space is awful. If they moved into a space with better frontage, and with a taller/brighter interior, I bet they'd have more customers.

  5. I hope Epilogue can stay in Ballard! I really like the staff and have bought several hundred dollars worth of stuff from them. Keep us posted and good luck to the owners and staff.

  6. Every time I go in there I buy something and I go there often because I walk by it to do my errands. I check to see if they have what I want first before I order on line. Plus I go in just to browse for books that catch my eye. Yes the staff is great and yes I've spent quite a bit of money there.

    I really hope they stay in Ballard. It would suck if they moved to someplace you could only get to by car.

  7. Unfortunately they changed owners a year or so ago and the place went downhill. Nothing but current best selling paperbacks and they had a crappy trade policy. Not to say that the used book business is an easy one to make a profit in. To make any money at all you need to also sell some new stuff or have SUPER cheap rent.

    I gave up on used stores and now use Amazon or the library.

  8. Funky space. Friendly, informed staff. Great selections new and used.

    Yep–they changed owners: from one sister to another sister. Ya got a problem with that?? And, Nate is a pro!!!

    It's MY bookshop of choice. I've been with them since the very beginning when Sharon and Rebecca had a space farther south on Market. If they leave Ballard, part of the love of things Ballard will go with them.

    You want chrome and glass and bling and noise??? Go to a chain bookstore. Ya know, one with a Starbucks attached at the hip.

  9. I spend tons of money there because of their selection, trade policy, and the fact that it's a family owned business.

    Do we even know if money is the main issue? Could it be they just want a different space?

    I hope they stay close by!

  10. Can't the local churches help these guys and give them a place to stay. They don't seem to mind helping all the homeless and setting up shelters where they are not wanted.

  11. Well that would require the previous owners to sell it at below market rate. If you owned a strip of retail in Ballard, would you sell it at below market rate? Remember if you do, the next owner is still going to raise rents in-line with what neighboring comps do, so essentially you are leaving money on the table. The reason you can't lower your existing rents in this scenario to help out your tennant, is because you have a debt to the bank you need to pay off (I doubt the previous owner sold to you below market rate, if he did you would have had to raise rents to keep in-line with the market) while maintaining a reserve ratio to keep to the terms of the loan.

    (let me know if you see a cycle occuring)

  12. how do you say…bs?
    We are dealing with prospective value, right?
    What about honoring present value?
    The banks, the feds, the idiots, even know that.
    Get a grip, get reduced rent, or get the 'f' out of dodge.
    oh, and you will see a cycle occurring….

  13. You can't “price Ballard out of the market.” It is simply a market.

    Landlord bets on higher rent.
    Tenant balks.
    Landlord assumes risk.
    Tenant finds more value elsewhere.

    You see, the market works great when you let it.

  14. When I talk to the owners there, I get the feeling that they are sick of all the bullshit that happens around that block…as we all are. They are stuck there all day watching the shenanigans and have probably had enough, as did the camera store, scream and every other business within view of meth house alley.

  15. Have you ever been to a great, but cheap little shop/restaurant/bar in a very expensive neighborhood and wondered how they've made it in business for decades? The answer is usually that they own the building, and usually that they've owned the building for decades and don't owe a mortgage on it.
    If you have a building in a old neighborhood where the values go up and you sell it anywhere close to “market value” the new owners are going to be paying a mortgage on it that is going to be much much higher than the old owners. The only way for the new owner to pay the mortgage is to raise the rents. A lot of the old owners don't always need to keep the rent increases in line with the rise in market value to pay their old mortgage, so that's also a factor in why you wind up in this scenario.

  16. The owner of this building inherited it from his father and has absolutely no mortgage on it. He's just out of touch with the reality of small business owners. I know him, and he's an absolute luddite.

  17. It's not stinky, although it is not as cool as it was before it changed owners (she brought her dog daily, they had a back area where they bought books, they had espresso…). “Stay current”? What do you mean by that? It's a USED BOOK STORE.
    And if they didn't have a business model they would not be in business. Duh.

  18. Comical it is that you're telling others to get a grip when you don't know the basics. I'm always amazed that those that know the least are the first call out “B.S”. Shouldn't you be tracking down meth users because clearly youre out of your element when discussing economics.

    Do you even know what present value is without using “the google”. (hint a 20 story building is effectively 20 different cash flows -discount the 20 cf's and leases clauses to get a present value.) Care to guess what floor pays the most effective and average rent? -hint it's not the penthouse but the opposite..the ground floor. The cheapest floors would midlevel, the first couple floors can compete with the penthouse levels on occasion.

    Worry not, the retailers are getting out of dodge, the owner may or may not lose the property and the bank will take it over. In order to cut their losses they may rent it out at the rates the previous owner could not afford to as they would have violated their financing commitments.

    P.S. prospective value is a newbie figure -ask an appraiser, and the only to make money on your primary residence is to dramatically shift, not trade, bid rent curves. (this means move to a cheaper city for those that make hand signs for avatars)

  19. I'd be the first to admit that I'm not a expert at many things.
    It just seems short-sided to insist on inflated values.
    Just as short-sided as those seeking to increase taxation, whether through property taxes, sales taxes, or income tax.
    This state and county is screwed, and it will take monumental changes soon, and a great deal of time afterword to recover.
    Or, we continue to allow this current model to be propped up, and, I loose the place that has always been my home.
    That's not an expert talking, that's someone who sees what is happening, and finds it to be unacceptable.
    Thanks to all of you that have opted out of keeping our 'leadership' accountable. Thanks a lot.

  20. Why do you say it's stinky? Have you ever been inside? It's the cleanest used bookstore I've ever been to. No cats. No mildew smell. Really nice store.

  21. Well, I don't know him and you may be right about his luddite-ness. However, on paper, what is wrong with a person who wants to make money on his/her assets? Don't we all do that to some degree? Does an owner of a building have a moral obligation to keep a tenant regardless of their ability to pay market rate for a lease?

  22. Even if Epilogue leaves Ballard, I won't shop at Secret Garden. My mom was looking for a book on lighthouses and the clerk in there couldn't be bothered to help her. Epilogue pointed her to the shelf and even asked if she wanted West Coast or East Coast info.

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