Retail -- Barnes and Noble to open outlet on Pacific Avenue
by: Adrian Shipley, Developers Patrick Hamilton (left) and his brother, John Hamilton Jr., stand inside the Barnes and Noble storefront.

When the seventh book in the bestselling Harry Potter series hits bookstores this summer, fans in Forest Grove won't have to trek off to Tanasbourne to queue up for the latest in wizardry.

The book will be available at the Pacific University Bookstore in its new downtown location, 2032 Pacific Avenue.

The store, a Barnes and Noble outlet currently housed in the student center, will move into its new digs in early July. A grand opening soon after will be keyed to the release of the new Potter book, according to store manager Catherine Cowden.

Although the bookstore currently has an academic focus, it will expand its selection of trade paperbacks and other non-textbook materials to lure the public downtown for their book shopping.

'We're still the campus bookstore, but we want to be the community's bookstore as well,' Cowden said.

The 4,200-square-foot retail space, wedged between Moe's Billiards and Theatre in the Grove, is being renovated by Cascade Investments. It's the same developer responsible for the renovation of the Ingels-Pope building that houses Eaton's Internet Café and Gaming Center on Main Street and the adjacent Ingels-Porter building.

Patrick Hamilton, the company's property manager, said the renovation for the bookstore would be similar in scope to what his company did with the other properties, with the renovation exposing old brick work and wood trusses and flooring.

He figures his firm will put more than $250,000 into the space, with Pacific University and Barnes and Noble adding another $150,000 worth of improvements.

Pacific University has contracted with Barnes and Noble to run its student bookstore for several years.

While bookstore staff members are employees of Barnes and Noble, Pacific University will be the new tenant in the renovated building.

News of the bookstore move, first reported by the Pacific University Index, will be a shift for students.

'I think students are going to have to be reconditioned to pick up their quick items downtown and I'm going to miss some of that foot traffic,' said Steve Klein, who manages the University Center on the Pacific campus.

But even with that loss of traffic, Klein is looking forward to what he can do with the bookstore space as the university embarks on a complete renovation of the University Center in three years.

Klein said that he's looking into how to expand the student mailroom into the current bookstore space, to give relief to students who are sharing mailboxes right now.

'We're pricing out new boxes and figuring out what that looks like,' said Klein. 'The vacancy of the bookstore gives us an opportunity.'

In that way, the bookstore move dovetails with the university's growth mission as much as the city's recent push to redevelop downtown.

'We're excited, the campus is excited,' Klein said. 'It's a win-win for everyone and it fits in with the campus' desire to grow.'

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