A flurry of activity and new development in Arlington’s entertainment district has had a negative effect on one longtime business. Half Price Books in Lincoln Square, which opened about 20 years ago, will close this spring.
Although some on social media speculated that eager developers or rising rent costs may have factored into the bookseller’s decision, Half Price Books spokeswoman Emily Bruce says rising rent was not the key issue.
“We have great customers at Lincoln Square,” Bruce says. “But the area around the store has changed since we first moved in. With the development of new stadiums, restaurants and retail in the area, it has become more difficult for our customers to access the store. And as a result, we’ve seen a steady decline in store traffic in the past few years.”
The bookstore, which has 17 employees, plans to close Sunday, March 11. Bruce says some employees have transferred to other stores, and the rest will receive severance packages.
“It is the logical next step,” Rosemary Cingari posted on Facebook. “Once those two stadiums were voted in, the entire north side of Arlington will be for the accommodation of [the] wealthy who can afford to go to a game. The rest of us can drive out of our way to and find what we want somewhere else and avoid the traffic tie-ups.”
Half Price Books has another Arlington store at 2211 S. Cooper St., outside the entertainment district. Nationwide, the chain has more than 120 bookstores. Twenty are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Bruce says the Lincoln Square location is the only Half Price Books store in the DFW area that is closing.
While the North Arlington shopping center continues to attract new tenants — including Studio Movie Grill, which opened there last year — other businesses have gone. Much to the dismay of local pub crawlers, Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub & Grill shuttered in November. According to one report, the pub also experienced a lull in business, along with towing issues.
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While some of the shopping center’s business owners have posted signs to shoo away stadium event parking, others provide free parking and stadium shuttles to paying customers.
With AT&T Stadium's 80,000-seat capacity and the new Globe Life Park expected to hold more than 40,000 people, there’s plenty of room for sports fans in North Arlington. And when the long-awaited TexasLive shopping and entertainment complex opens, the area could become an even bigger magnet.
But for Half Price Books and local book lovers, the results aren't so attractive.
“What? HPB is closing?” Connie Nolen posted on Facebook. “Boo.”