The New England Mobile Book Fair, an institution that has been a key part of the literary community of the Newton area for more than a half-century, has found a new home on Needham Street in the N2 Innovation District. The new site is the Marshalls Plaza, just a few blocks away, and offers a more affordable option for the independent bookstore.
The bookstore had been looking for space since the spring, when the lease on the existing space expired. The owners aimed to find a smaller, more affordable space that kept a local presence while also providing the core community with a viable, independent bookstore.
“We had been contacted by a number of cities and locations nearby, but ultimately we felt that we wanted to try to stay local, so when Northland contacted us it felt like the right fit. Even though it’s not a permanent solution it helps keep this bookstore close to its roots. Northland clearly understands the need for unique local businesses that support the community,” said New England Mobile Book Fair Owner Tom Lyons.
Newton-Needham Chamber President Greg Reibman praised Northland for “stepping up and finding a home for this beloved Newton business.”
“For a while it looked like we were either going to lose the Book Fair to another community, or see it close altogether. This agreement allows Tom time
to carefully refine his business model at a challenging time for many retailers but particularly for independent bookstores,” Reibman said.
Northland Investment Corporation is a national real estate investment company with headquarters in Newton. The space is only available for the next two
years because the property is part of a 30-acre redevelopment in the planning stages with the city of Newton that will include housing, retail and
office space, all a key addition to the N2 Innovation District.
Peter Standish, Senior Vice President of Northland Investment Corporation, said, “Our concern was that the city of Newton should not lose this important institution. We are pleased to be able to facilitate New England Mobile Book Fair’s ongoing service and commitment to the people of Newton.”
Standish also said, “This use fits squarely with the vision for our proposed mixed-use development, and we hope to find the Bookstore a permanent home here.”
Work has already begun to get the space ready for the store, and an opening celebration is planned for mid-June.