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Book retailer requesting incentives
City Council to consider incentives deal for Barnes & Noble


Date published: 4/6/2012

BY BILL FREEHLING

Fredericksburg City Council on Tuesday night will consider approving an incentives package for Barnes & Noble that could be worth up to $100,000 in tax rebates over 10 years.

The book-focused retailer last week finalized a 10-year lease on the 24,000-square-foot building in Central Park that formerly housed a Borders store. Local business partners Mark Doherty and Jeremy McCommons own the property.

Barnes & Noble hopes to open about Nov. 1 following a roughly $1.9 million build-out that will result in one of the chain's modern concept stores featuring the Nook e-reader. It will be one of the company's first new stores in more than a year.

Annual sales at the store are projected at $6.1 million, according to a memo Fredericksburg City Manager Beverly Cameron wrote council members. The store is expected to generate about $732,000 in new tax revenue for the city over 10 years.

Barnes & Noble would get $100,000 of that tax revenue back over the 10 years if it hits performance benchmarks. The store will provide the equivalent of about 30 full-time jobs.

Cameron's memo recommends approval of the incentives deal, noting that B&N's decision to come to Fredericksburg is "welcome news" that "has been noticed by other prospective tenants for the center, including the adjacent 76,000-square-foot Shoppers Food Warehouse building."

A deal for the vacant Shoppers space has reportedly long been in the works but has not been finalized.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com