After more than 30 years, Newark gets new bookstore

By Karen Yi | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on March 15, 2017

 

NEWARK -- The city's first major bookstore in decades has officially debuted in the heart of downtown Newark. 

The Barnes and Noble Rutgers bookstore opened last month inside the rebuilt Hahne & Co. building on Halsey Street. The roughly 10,000 square-foot store boasts two floors with seating areas, desks and work lounges open to the community.

"We have a stake and intrinsically are linked to the cities that we're in," said Arcelio Aponte, vice chancellor for administration and CFO for Rutgers-Newark. "There has not been a full-service quality bookstore open in downtown Newark in over 30 years."

Aponte said the bookstore was moved from its location on the Rutgers-Newark campus because it was not visible to the community. 

"We took our resource and decided to make it a community resource," he said. "Let's put it on the street, let's make it accessible to the community so the community feels part of it."

The move is part of the university's larger push to be an anchor in its home city. Inside the bookstore that message is clear with the words "In Newark, of Newark" emblazoned on the red walls. Throughout the store, images of the city pepper the walls. 

In addition to textbooks, the store sells children's books, trade books, best sellers, snacks, office supplies and of course, Rutgers-branded merchandise. Of the bookstore's 16 employees, seven are Newark residents, according to the store manager. 

The bookstore is open on weekends and until 9 p.m. on weeknights. 

Above the Barnes and Noble, Rutgers opened a 50,000 square-foot studio arts space, with galleries and classrooms called Express Newark. The space will be used as an arts incubator and houses a 3D print shop, a portrait studio and the Institute of Jazz Studies.

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