Barnes & Noble closes book on Jantzen Beach

Portland mall store to close Saturday to make room for new Target

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

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Area bookworms will have one less hangout on Saturday, the day Barnes & Noble plans to close its store at the Jantzen Beach SuperCenter mall in Portland.

The bookstore, which has operated at 1720 N. Jantzen Beach Drive since 1996, will be replaced by a new stand-alone Target store. Barnes & Noble’s adjoining Starbucks coffee shop also will close on Sept. 2. Construction crews expect to eventually demolish the mall’s existing Target and several smaller store spaces, along with the existing food court.

Barnes & Noble does not plan to replace its Jantzen Beach store, said Mary Ellen Keating, a company spokeswoman.

She would not elaborate on the reasons the company isn’t reopening. However, local retail experts said they are not surprised, given the fierce competition from electronic readers and Internet book sales.

The Jantzen Beach Barnes & Noble is the second area bookstore to close since last month. Borders closed its east Vancouver location in July.

“It’s a national issue, with the demise of the brick and mortar bookstores,” said Deborah Ewing, a vice president with Eric Fuller & Associates Inc. in Vancouver, who specializes in marketing retail space.

In the meantime, a completion date for the work on the Jantzen Beach mall is unclear. Portland-based S.D. Deacon is general contractor of the project, which will demolish most of the older mall building anchored by Target, Ross Dress For Less and Burlington Coat Factory stores.

Target expects its 139,000-square-foot Jantzen Beach store to be modeled after the company’s fairly new store at the Cascade Station shopping complex on the Oregon side of the Interstate 205 Bridge.

Phone messages were not returned by Target or Boston-based Edens & Avant, manager of Jantzen Beach SuperCenter.

Other mall tenants include: Old Navy, Staples, Sports Authority, Best Buy, Sleep Country USA, Mattress World, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Pier 1 Imports, Home Depot, Radio Shack, GNC and Office Depot.