One of the downtown East Lansing business anchors is closing.

Barnes & Noble, located in the old
Jacobson’s Building on the corner of Grand River Avenue and Charles
Street, is shutting its doors on Dec. 31, said David Deason, vice
president of development for Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc. Deason
cited the end of the lease term as the reason for the closure.

A source said that employees were told
the company and building owner were unable to agree on the cost of a
new lease, causing the closure. The owner is City Center Partners 2 LLC.

Several employees were questioned about
the closure at the store, but declined to comment after a 2 p.m. staff
meeting at which the news was announced. One floor manager directed
questions to the company’s corporate communications manager, Arielle
Berlin, who released Deason’s statement. 

No word has been given on what will fill the very large hole to be left by the store, which occupies a generous corner lot.

When the East Lansing Barnes & Noble
closes its doors, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Schuler Books & Music
will be the closest major bookstore operation. Schuler has a location at  Meridian
Mall in Okemos, as well as one at the Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing
Township. Barnes & Noble will have a remaining location at the
Lansing Mall in Eaton County.

The store opened in September 2001,
after the store moved to Meridian Mall the previous year. The two-story
building holds over 100,000 books, CDs and movies and also includes a
coffee shop.