Back in June, Three Lives & Co. Books announced that their building was up for sale. On a month-to-month lease, they hoped the future new owner would let them stay.
I just found out, thanks to a tipster, that the sale of the building went through last week. And it does not look good for Three Lives.
Papers filed with the New York City Department of Finance reveal the buyer is Oliver's Company. They paid $14 million -- that's $4 million more than the asking price.
On their website, Oliver's Realty Group is described as "the independent investment, development and brokerage arm of Oliver's Company, LLC, formed in 1995 to specialize in luxury residential real estate." Oliver's developments all look the same, from the High Line-hugging Caledonia to Tribeca Park.
The company is run by David J. Wine, a real estate professional "with unparalleled knowledge and insight into the luxury rental and condominium markets in Manhattan." Before forming Oliver's, Wine was Vice Chairman at mega-developer Related.
David J. Wine
Is it possible that Mr. Wine will let Three Lives remain? Maybe he's a real book lover. Maybe he wants to be a hero--and avoid bad PR--by preserving this essential Greenwich Village small business. But he might need some encouragement.
State Senator Brad Hoylman wrote a letter to the former owners in July, asking for a multi-year lease. Co-signed by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, and City Councilman Corey Johnson, the letter read: "Three Lives & Company is one of the last independent bookstores in our area. It would be a loss for small business, the uniqueness of New York City and booklovers everywhere to see Three Lives & Company close at this location."
#SaveNYC is ready to fight for Three Lives. We can't lose this great bookstore, not another one, for more high-rent blight, and then another chain, or another boutique or trendy restaurant that will shutter in a few years.
This is our city, too.