Business

McDonald’s Book Exchange will soon be turning a new page with move

McDonald
McDonald's Book Exchange owner Anne St. Germain (left) and employee Mary Schnitzler share a laugh while ringing up customer Cindy Baumann.
— image credit: Samantha Pak, Redmond Reporter

After 30-plus years of business and three different locations, McDonald’s Book Exchange in Redmond will be moving once again come June.

But owner Anne St. Germain is still not sure where they will go.

She said they are moving from their location at 16415 N.E. 83rd St. to make way for a private housing development.

The new development will take up a large portion of the southeast corner of Northeast 83rd Street and 164th Avenue Northeast and St. Germain said they are not the only business who will be moving.

Gary Lee, a senior planner for the City of Redmond, said the new building will be a 209-unit apartment building, with ground floor commercial businesses facing 164th Avenue Northeast.

“The development also fronts on Northeast 83rd Street and the southwest corner of Northeast 83rd Street and 165th Avenue Northeast,” Lee said.

McDonald’s, which is leasing the building it is in, received notice of the development in the summer of 2012 when the property was sold and St. Germain said they are still looking for a new space to lease.

The current location, where they have been since 2005, is 2,800 square feet. This includes an expansion St. Germain had done about a year ago. This added about 500 square feet. She said it would be almost impossible to find a new space the same size and same-styled building, which had previously been a house. And if she did find one, she probably wouldn’t be able to afford it. For the new location, St. Germain said she is looking for no less than 2,000 square feet. She would also like to stay in the downtown core, if possible.

“When you move, it takes a long, long time for people to move with you,” she said, adding that most people will assume a business is closed if they are not aware of a move. “We absolutely have to find some place right around the corner.”

Although McDonald’s is not planning on closing, it may possibly move out of downtown, depending on its new location. If this happens, it will be the second time in two years that downtown Redmond has lost a bookstore, having lost the Borders in Redmond Town Center in the summer of 2011.

“I think it’s always a sad thing when a community loses a place (where) they can find reading material,” said Aaron Oesting — who is a cluster manager for King County Library Systems and oversees the Redmond, Redmond Ridge and Kirkland locations.

He said reading and literacy are basic and fundamental skills needed to function in society that need to be maintained. In addition, he said non-fiction is a great way for people to learn about the world, while fiction can be a great source of entertainment.

Throughout her search for a new space, St. Germain said she has found a few locations that may work, but they would mean a major reduction in inventory because they are much smaller than their current space.

McDonald’s provides a very specific service to bookworms in that readers can trade and recycle their books. St. Germain said as a result, they will often have more than just an author’s latest release, which comes in handy for customers who find a book they really enjoy and want to read more of the author’s works.

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