Developer Rick Caruso says the bookstore chain wasn't doing well at the Ventura Boulevard location. But David Deason, Barnes & Noble's vice president of development, told Encino Patch that sales were fine at the store. It's just that Caruso was jacking up the rent. The conflicting comments are a big deal to the folks in Encino, who are up in arms about Barnes & Nobles shutting the store. Caruso has already leased the space to CVS. "We're closing stores that no longer make economic sense," Deason said. "Encino we wanted to keep, but the property owner has decided to receive more rent from another tenant."
"The fact is that our original lease term expired in January 2010," Deason wrote in the e-mail. "Both Caruso and Barnes & Noble reached an agreement and it was our hope and desire to extend beyond the year. We would be more than willing and excited to pay the rent we paid. But as any property owner has the right to do, they're going to seek someone else willing to pay more - more than we can afford. Our sales are fine there, but there is a limit of what we can afford to occupy space."