The State Street Association's Heywood says Borders, which liquidated the store after going bankrupt last year, was paying only about $6 a square foot in monthly rent. Any new tenants would have to pay closer to market value--three or more times that much. Even at the low end, that means $1 million in annual rent, and a business would need to make more than $10 million in revenues to afford that, Heywood estimates--a daunting prospect in this economy.
Heywood and other observers believe the more likely outcome will be to divide up the space into multiple smaller storefronts--in a sense, taking the landmark corner back to the 1930s.
[Originally published in March, 2012.]