Half Price Books Temporarily Closed In Todos Santos Plaza, Will Permanently Close In The Spring

February 15, 2019 14:03 pm · 73 comments

Half Price Books in Todos Santos Plaza is temporarily closed.

An employee at the Berkeley Half Price Books told Claycord.com the business is closed while future tenants inspect the building.

The book store lost its lease, and is expected to permanently close this spring, according to the employee.

Bank of America has shown interest in moving into the building, according to Concord city staff reports.

Half Price Books, which is based in Dallas, TX and operates 127 stores throughout the country, is currently searching for another location in Concord.

RELATED STORY: Bangkok Kitchen In Downtown Concord Closing Due To $5,800 Rent Increase

G. February 15, 2019 at 2:10 PM

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S February 15, 2019 at 2:12 PM

it’s actually a pretty decent book store

MisterC February 15, 2019 at 2:17 PM

Yay another step towards the death of downtown. I’m sure a bank will draw equal foot traffic to the plaza. I know I always want to get a coffee or ice cream after going to the bank. Oh wait, I don’t…

Can’t wait to see Spaghetti Factory replaced by some half-assed chain restaurant,

S February 15, 2019 at 2:42 PM

S F is a chain…

DVC Student February 15, 2019 at 4:07 PM

Spaghetti Factory is half-ass… that’s why it’s so cheap

Jerry Ducasse February 15, 2019 at 2:23 PM

Oh wow! First Bangkok Kitchen. Now Half Price Books. Who’s next?

Dave Hughes February 15, 2019 at 2:39 PM

Same landlord. Paragon. Who’s next? Not sure, but Cream and Peet’s have lock-boxes on their doors.

Anonymous February 15, 2019 at 3:32 PM

Yes, same landlord as Bangkok Kitchen. They purchased the entire city block a couple years ago. They are responsible for Fix that Mac having to move and Chipotle going in on that corner. Responsible for raising the rent of Concord Jewelers who had to go out of business after 40 years. We need another bank across the street from the park like we need a hole in our head. Todos Santos Park is supposed to be a destination for entertainment and enjoyment. How many of you go there to eat or get a drink and go to the bookstore? Then enjoy the park. We can stop by a bank any day. The bank doesn’t need to be on the Plaza. They are already across the street. Isn’t that good enough?

Lbailey034 February 17, 2019 at 9:55 PM

It’s so unfortunate 🙁 the owners of bankok said they raised their rent to $11,000 not sure what they were paying before but it’s so crazy how much rent is sky rocketing!

The minority opinion February 15, 2019 at 2:24 PM

I know everyone will tell me how very wrong I am. But, whatever, I don’t care. I am glad they will soon be gone. Concord needs to think better of itself. And, omg, don’t put a discount pajama store in there. Concord needs a much better person to look for businesses to move here. We have been rubbing elbows with sleaziness for too many years. John Montagh needs to go. Get someone who has an original thought in his/her head.

G. February 15, 2019 at 4:47 PM

Would mind sharing what you find sleazy about a book store?

Mike February 15, 2019 at 6:31 PM

Think better of itself in what way…. what, pray, tell, is “better” than a community that has a book store? Lord knows, people need to read books …………. would love to hear what your vision of Concord is… and what in the world are you talking about “discount pajama store”? Sounds like someone’s been enjoying legal marijuana a bit too muhc.

Stephen February 16, 2019 at 8:50 AM

@Mike: there was a pajama store (aimed at young women) that was a block north of Todos Santos

Jason February 15, 2019 at 2:27 PM

I heard that the Bank of America is moving in to the space

Dave February 15, 2019 at 2:48 PM

Word is they aren’t moving there, but expanding into the space. Overflow offices. They are hard to reach for comment.

Jason February 15, 2019 at 2:28 PM

Heard it is going to be replaced with a Bank of America

Mike February 15, 2019 at 6:28 PM

Did you hear, it’s going to be replaced with a Bank of America.

DD February 15, 2019 at 2:29 PM

Bring back Hilsons!

Noj February 15, 2019 at 4:08 PM

Made me laugh DD…

CoCoOld February 16, 2019 at 11:05 AM

And Chaps! Bring back Chaps!

Love2read February 15, 2019 at 2:31 PM

Nooooooo!! It’s our tradition to eat at OSF and go hunt for books next door. I am so sad. 🙁

Mary Fouts February 15, 2019 at 2:31 PM

The future tenants couldn’t inspect the building when the business is closed?

Potential new location? February 15, 2019 at 2:34 PM

Any idea of where Half Price Books may relocate to? Downtown Martinez would be great!

Jennifer Brady February 15, 2019 at 6:13 PM

YES! I TOTALLY AGREE FOR MARTINEZ!!!

John February 15, 2019 at 2:53 PM

No there’s no reason to go to that sewer, Todos Santos.

Bob February 15, 2019 at 11:45 PM

For real.

If I’m not mistaken, HPB was the last retail shop on the Plaza.

Why Am I Hungry February 15, 2019 at 2:58 PM

My husband and I have been going there on dates since we were in highschool. Always find my favorite books and movies and the staff there is excellent. I hope they’re able to find a place in Concord I’d hate to see them go.

Roz February 15, 2019 at 3:21 PM

I hope they find a place in Concord too.

A February 15, 2019 at 3:07 PM

Bank of America?!? What a waste. We love half price books and shop there regularly. Bummer. That was our last reason to visit todos santos plaza.

Ranchgirl February 15, 2019 at 3:15 PM

One after another, we lose all the great shops and favorite restaurants in the area. Nothing as nice as La Sen, since they moved out. I don’t plan on patronizing the replacements since that supports the owners of the property. Very disappointing.

Anonymous February 15, 2019 at 3:24 PM

This is sad I go here all the time, there is no nearby book store eaither…I hope they just relocate close!

S. Martin February 15, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Why buy books? You can go to the CC library and just check them out indefinitely…no late charges.

Giddyup February 15, 2019 at 4:29 PM

Half-Price is so much more than books. They have used cds and vinyl, neat cards and journals for sale, the cutest xmas cards around, a rare book section, and more. I don’t get excited about bookstores, but I get excited about Half-Price Books. It’s my favorite bookstore ever. In fact, I never really cared to spend any time in bookstores until I found Half Priced Books. Hoping it moves closer to me.

Samuel Tabo February 15, 2019 at 3:32 PM

Half price is the last of the chain book stores with an independent vibe. Well I guess I’m going to Berkeley more often, I love bookstores. Well Concord is getting a Barnes and Noble at the Veranda

Jason February 15, 2019 at 3:41 PM

@Dave

So it won’t even be a space open to the public? It will just be office space. That’s unfortunate.

Dave February 15, 2019 at 4:15 PM

Not confirmed, but that’s what a BofA employee told a HPB employee.

Gregory Gardens mom February 15, 2019 at 3:43 PM

Just went there yesterday for a couple of books. Hope they find a place with better parking…..could be a good thing that they are moving from Todos Santos.

Happy One February 15, 2019 at 3:45 PM

Maybe they could move into the space in the Willows where Cost Plus used to be. Or into the space where Beverly’s was on Clayton Road. Or into the old OSH space that’s close to Clayton.

Cornfed February 15, 2019 at 3:48 PM

We you used take our kids to OSF or Wuang Luang at least once a week and then hang out at 1/2 Price. Could feed all four of us at OSF for $25 back in the day. So many good memories. Now OSF is ridiculously priced and the others can’t afford the jacked up rent. Like so many other things about this town now Todos Santos sucks. Progress.

Ddt February 15, 2019 at 4:08 PM

Maybe they can go in the old clayton concord orchard supply location

Book Store February 15, 2019 at 4:26 PM

We need a book store along Clayton Road. If Half Price Books wants to stay in Concord there are plenty of empty buildings like, the Staples & CVS shopping center at Clayton Road and Treat Blvd. Also the old Monument Car Parts and Cleaners near the In Shape gym. Where Hobby Town USA was located near Ace Hardware. The OSH that just closed at Clayton Road and Ygnacio just to name a few.

WC Resident February 15, 2019 at 8:29 PM

There is a bookstore on Clayton Road. It’s Berkshire Books at 3480 Clayton Road, Concord, CA. It’s across the street from the Goodwill store. http://berkshire-books.com/

Disgusted February 15, 2019 at 4:32 PM

Why can’t bank of America move into their old office spaces that are on corner of the Galindo and Clayton

TMB February 15, 2019 at 4:34 PM

I called their toll-free customer service line and was told that they were closed due to a safety issue related to nearby construction. Someone is lying. The questions are who and why.

Cat lover February 15, 2019 at 4:37 PM

So if it is just office space for BofA then it is not going to attract people to the park. This really sucks. Like others who have posted here our family always goes to OSF and then head over to Half Price for the fun of it. When the kids were younger they found many books and movies to buy. How long before the rent is too high for OSF and they leave? I say boycott BofA and let’s make a stand. People’s voices were heard when Whole Foods tries to kick out Jade Garden and others in Walnut Creek, maybe that could work in this case.
As for going to the library, no thanks. Half price has a better selection of books then the library ever will.

concord ygnacio February 15, 2019 at 5:38 PM

How is this BofA’s fault? They make an easy target, but protest the landlord, not Bof A. So people need to get a grip. Times change, tenants move. That is life.

Giddyup February 15, 2019 at 9:07 PM

BofA has a history in Concord. Concord rearranged the whole city so that BofA could build its Concord facility. As soon as they had obliterated all the small businesses that once existed on and around the property and changed the names and directions of a bunch of streets, BofA up and decided that they weren’t happy in Concord and moved out of state.

concord ygnacio February 15, 2019 at 4:52 PM

Who shops at book stores anymore nowadays? You can get books for free at the library, or buy them on amazon. Books have gone the way of CD’s and videos. Same reason that Borders and Barnes & Noble in PH closed. I have no idea why that Rasputin Music on Contra Costa Blvd. across from the mall is still open.

Record dude February 16, 2019 at 7:24 AM

I go there occasionally to look for a used record. 99% of the time there aren’t any customers. I’m not sure how they stay in business.

ChuckStir February 15, 2019 at 5:43 PM

Book store, there is a used bookstore on Clayton Rd, It’s Berkshire Books near El Monte

Hanne Jeppesen February 15, 2019 at 5:46 PM

I love half priced books. Shop there regularly, love to go to farmers market in the summer and then shop for books. Have also sold books and CD’s there. Definitely a loss even if they open up at another location in the area.

Natalie February 15, 2019 at 6:31 PM

The landlord’s business phone number is 310-807-3370. It will lead to a machine that says Paragon. A person can press 2 at the menu and type in J I,M at the prompt which would be the numbers 5,4,6 on a phone’s keypad. Doing so leads to the landlord’s business voicemail. His name is Jim Dillavou.

I went by around 3:30PM and nobody was inside, or around the building. Nobody was inspecting the building or doing any sort of work on the building.

Seems like the landlord is angry about the negative press and took it on HPB and their employees.

Mary February 15, 2019 at 6:41 PM

Move next door to TJMaxx on Clayton Road…where Beverly Fabric used to be. Plenty of parking spaces for it. We could use the a bookstore there.

Chubby February 15, 2019 at 7:57 PM

It would seem to me that if there’s anywhere in the city that should be zoned, it should be that anything on the square should be restaurant or retail, or something of general, cultural, or culinary interest and accessibility, something that anyone could conceivably walk into. Something that has something to sell that might conceivably be one stop on a date night. You can’t loiter, dally,or meet someone at a bank. Also, BANKS CLOSE AT NIGHT. So instead of a lively literary hub on the town square, we get a dark and shuttered business. Concord finally did it. We are now truly, WORLD CLASS.

Kat February 15, 2019 at 11:31 PM

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Chubby February 16, 2019 at 5:44 AM

@Kat point taken. But Umpqua Bank is MUCH smaller, and has a much smaller presence on Todos Santos the way it recessed behind its parking lot and almost on Willow Pass. Contrast that with Half Priced Books’ wide store front and big windows. AND that large store front is recessed, creating a lovely community space. I have spent many an aimless Saturday morning, coffee in hand, perusing the $2 books on the carts outside. My latest purchase was BIll Holm’s “Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form”. I never would have went down that rabbit hole were I not able to serendipitously stumble into random titles on the sidewalk. It’s amazing how the brain opens itself to new topics when the price is right!

Go ahead and laugh, but Half Priced Books is a beloved local literary institution, and arguably the cultural hub of Concord. It is a major anchor for Todos Santos. Losing it will be like Sun Valley Mall losing Macy’s. Besides, Umpqua is a cool name. They should sell bubble drinks.

BOB February 15, 2019 at 9:31 PM

If the retail space is going to be changed to office space then Concord will lose the sales tax money. Good thing Concord doesn’t need the money.

Dorothy February 15, 2019 at 10:53 PM

There is more to quality of life than the almighty dollar. A bank or any other kind of office building is not going to benefit the square, its patrons and the tenants around it. We need better zoning laws!

ConcordRez February 15, 2019 at 11:44 PM

Todos Santos lost the jeweler, La Sen, and now we are losing the book store and our wonderful jewel of a professional theatre group, B8. I hope someone can figure out how to get them back at our wonderful square

Bob February 15, 2019 at 11:51 PM

Time to get loud, People.

Remember’we saved Jade Gardens.

ConcordDad February 16, 2019 at 1:01 AM

That plaza was finally looking good and everything filled up. Now it’s going to be like Park n Shop. Full of empty store fronts and cheap chain eateries. WE already got sold a bill of goods on the Veranda Shopping Center, it looks nice for now but it’s filling up with low end retail.

Silva February 16, 2019 at 7:50 AM

This SUCKS! HPB WAS more than just books though they had a great selection intoo. a wonderfully organized clean and inviting space. I got my Mona Lisa socks and lots of great music there too. It was the only thing left I really liked about downton Concord. Now the City Council members who erected the arches at the park to have a place to put those expensive permanent plaques with all of thier names on them will have a park they can REALLY be proud of. But there will be lots fewer homed people coming, like our family with cash to spend at HPB and a meal, to see their big accomplishment.

I copied this info from somewhere else;

EVICTION OF HALF PRICE BOOKS
Paragon Commercial Group is evicting Half Price Books
Half Price Books is an important part of our community and will be a great loss for Concord.
There are ways to you can help to keep Half Price Books from disappearing from Concord:
• Call Half Price Books corporate office: (800) 883-2114
Tell them how important they are to our community. Ask them if they can find a new location in the downtown area (such as the empty building by Safeway, or the empty building next to Concord Tap House).
• Reach out to the City Council by email and ask them to try to block the eviction, or to find a new location for Half Price Books in the downtown area.
o Citycouncil@cityofconcord.org
• Speak up during the non-agenda public comment period at this week’s City Council meeting and ask that the City Council work with HPB to remain in Concord, preferably downtown.

History: HPB was going to be evicted last fall, but were given an extension till May. However, as part of the deal, HPB employees were not allowed to openly discuss their pending eviction. But now that it’s out in the local press that they are closing, people are now free to talk openly about it. Paragon plans to renovate the space so Bank of America can move in.

Chubby February 16, 2019 at 2:28 PM

@ Silva I feel you on those arches. They’re all right, I could take ’em or leave ’em. The statue is not bad, as statues go. But when I saw that bronze plaque with the current council members names etched for eternity, I had to suppress my gag reflex.

Note to all self-aggrandizing politicians, and yes, I’m making this up as I type. Here are the rules:
Thou shalt not create awards, commemorations, plaques, or monuments, to YOURSELF. I shouldn’t have to explain this. You may elect, with caution, to use public money to recognize outstanding contributions to the greater good by people that are NOT YOU. This should only be even considered when there is substantial support for the idea from your constituency. Your job is to govern, not buy trophies for your cronies with the public’s money, or God forbid, YOURSELF.
Having probably ignored the first rule, thou shall not attempt to infer relevance by proximity by attaching your name to the name of an actual historically significant figure. Having the name Tim McGallian rendered in bronze on the same pedestal as Don Salvio Pacheco is comical at best, and insulting to the legacy of Don Salvio Pacheco at worst.
It wasn’t YOUR MONEY. If a wealthy organization or individual offers to build a public asset, and wants their name on it, that may be considered on a case by case basis. As an elected leader, it is YOUR JOB to allocate the public’s money. You don’t get credit for buying ANYTHING. The public needn’t feel grateful to you for the new statue. You didn’t make it, and you didn’t pay for it.
If you are truly such an awesome council member, one that should be exalted far into the future, the one that saved Concord, then subsequent generations can make that determination. Please tell me there isn’t a Lloyd Mashore plaque anywhere.

Captain Bebops February 16, 2019 at 9:32 AM

I’ll give downtown Concord 10 years to be a ghost town. No wait, 5 years. Last one to leave be sure to turn out the lights.

BagsFlyFree February 16, 2019 at 9:36 AM

This has to be a replacement for the branch across the street in preparation of sale of that building. If that change were to happen, then this move makes sense. Chase and Wells are represented in the square, so BofA may want a similar location size footprint retail branch.

If the B of A building we’re to be demo’d or remodeled to accommodate multiple small businesses, I’d say that is a win for the square, and will add businesses along both WP and Mt Diablo street.

BFF Out!

Joebob February 16, 2019 at 5:41 PM

One less reason to go downtown. Mentally ill homeless people all over the park, boring food court stores, a rundown Starbucks, and peets. Half price was the only place for any intellectual engagement at all. Bought so many used and rare books there. Cds, kids books, dvds, calendars, etc. Maybe they can rent the boarded up eyesore that was blockbuster on salvio.

Joebob February 17, 2019 at 2:25 PM

Went downtown today to get bagel with my son. Noticed all the parking spaces that are usually full in front of Half Price were empty. Probably 10 spots which would normally be bringing people to the plaza. saw a few people drive up, walk to the entrance, get back in their cars and leave. There are no shops downtown. All priced out I guess. Don’t really see the restaurants as a draw. This is gonna hurt downtown.

Karna Grenier February 18, 2019 at 6:08 PM
Phyllis K Lewis February 18, 2019 at 6:21 PM

Bummer! Half Price Books is a big reason that I like Todos Santos. Now we won’t have a bookstore.

Suzanne Butterfield February 18, 2019 at 7:23 PM

Disgusting News! I have built an extensive library of gardening books from HPB, also found a first edition on Matisse on the sale cart for my husband. Stupid WC let stupid Anthropologie take Barnes Noble space, the clothes are ugly and the quality is horrible! Not to mention the many! vacant businesses in WC, not everyone thinks Broadway Plaza is so great. so now Stupid Concord is letting another rapacious East Bay landlord screw up a destination business that really was the anchor on the square. If this happens, I will never set foot in Concord again, and we shop at the Concord Costco regularly. There are plenty of empty spaces throughout the county where HPB could move with better parking. Yet another reason to leave the area.

Jerry Ducasse February 19, 2019 at 9:22 AM

I’m hearing that HPB might not actually permanently close but could move to another location in Concord. Can anyone confirm if that is true or not?

Resident February 19, 2019 at 2:24 PM

City of Concord needs to do a few things. ATTRACT new businesses to make downtown a real community downtown with “CHOICES” of different businesses and eateries; RETAIN the small businesses without letting the new LL raise rents on the small business from $5200 to $11,000. How is that fair to these business owners that have served our community for so many years. Remember these small business owners are more than likely people that live here too. This is really sad to hear. Both La Sen and Bangkok Kitchen were gems for this area. Wake up!

CLAYCORD.com February 15, 2019 at 4:31 PM

B of A has also talked to the City of Concord about taking over the space.

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