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It looks like a petition wasn't enough. Despite Forest Hills's residents plea to keep its Barnes & Noble—the neighborhood's only bookstore since 1995—the chain has decided to not renew its lease when it expires at the end of this year. And by the middle of 2016, it'll have been replaced by a "flexible format" Target.
At least that's what the Minneapolis-based corporation is calling that location, now that it's phasing out names like CityTarget and TargetExpress. It basically means that shoppers will find items more tailored to city life—think less patio furniture and economy-sized packages of toilet paper, and more pharmacy, health and beauty, tech, and grocery items that are easily transportable via subway—as well as the option to place an order online and pick it up in the 20,000-square foot store. Expect its debut next July, likely after the chain's arrival in Downtown Brooklyn.
As for Barnes & Noble, it's not just leaving this pocket of the borough: According to the New York Daily News, the bookseller is leaving Queens entirely, closing down its remaining stores in Fresh Meadows and Bayside once those leases expire—but the story doesn't end there. "The Queens community is extremely important to us," Barnes & Noble vice president David Deason told the paper. "We are aggressively looking at new locations and expect to have a new store there in the future."