New Barnes & Noble to open in Paley Hall

Temple continues its long-tenured relationship with Barnes & Noble following the closure of the Law School bookstore on Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

The Barbes & Noble location on Broad and Cecil B. Moore has been closed to the public since last semester and is set to be relocated. | VIRGINIA BATES / THE TEMPLE NEWS

A new, more central Barnes & Noble location will open in the renovated Paley Hall following the closure of the Temple Law School Bookstore on Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue in May 2023.

The Main Campus bookstore, currently located on the basement floor of the Howard Gittis Student Center, will also be moved into Paley Hall. The relocation is part of a broader plan by Temple and Barnes & Noble; even if the law school location was profitable, all Barnes & Noble stores would be consolidated into the Paley Hall location, wrote Michael Scales, associate vice president for business services, in an email to The Temple News.

“The decision to close the Law School bookstore at Broad & Cecil B. Moore was a mutual decision between Temple and Barnes & Noble based on declining sales and activity post-pandemic,” Scales wrote.

Paley Hall, which will house the College of Public Health, is set to open in Fall 2025 following renovations. The Student Center Barnes & Noble location, where the remaining stock from the Broad Street location is being stored, will stay open until then.

“[Paley Hall’s Barnes & Noble] will have about 30,000 square feet of space on the west side of the building [on] the 13th Street side,” said Martin Droz, associate vice president for planning, design and construction. “[The store] will be spread out between two levels in the building.”

Temple and Barnes & Noble are in constant communication as plans continue to develop to meet student needs and university regulations. This includes color and material choice for the store interior, energy efficiency and light engineering, Droz said.

In addition to textbook retail, there will also be a Starbucks cafe in the store. Features, like the cafe, have been sorely missed since the closure of the Temple Law location. Barnes & Noble is looking forward to optimizing its services by eliminating redundancies, like both stores selling general school supplies, said Jim Hanley, general manager of Temple bookstores.

“The main portion of the books are going to be on that first floor,” Droz said. “[There will be] nice double height space, sort of feel more open, more retail-like probably then the current one does.”

The now empty building and former site of the Law School store on Broad and Cecil B. Moore is still owned by Temple, and the university is actively pursuing a new use for the property, said Jonathan Reiter, associate vice president of finance and operations.

“We really want to be diligent and take our time to find the right use of that space,” Reiter said. “I don’t know if that’s going to be one year from now or three years from now but just given the importance of that corner, we don’t want to just rush to finding a tenant and putting them there.”

The Student Center Barnes & Noble location will also close upon the opening of Paley Hall. There are no current plans for the space, but it is common for the university to have a vacant space that can be utilized once a purpose has been delegated, Reiter said.

Eliminating all other locations also prevents the stores from taking business from each other and allows Temple merchandise to be advertised in a more central and accessible location on campus.

“Everything is going to be focused on what’s best for the students in the community,” Reiter said “So profit is not a motive. It’s figuring out what’s the best use for the students and the community in that location.”

Temple and Barnes & Noble established their first contract in 1987. The current contract isn’t set to expire until Summer 2033.

Both university and Barnes & Noble representatives expressed their excitement about the new store as an opportunity to provide a “unified home base,” Hanley said.

“It’s a great partnership,” Hanley said. “We’re here to serve the university and we’re going to find ways to do it.”

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