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Well, this is bad. St. Marks Bookshop, the indie bookstore in the East Village in danger of shuttering for good unless patrons raise money for its survival, is now facing possible eviction. According to Bedford & Bowery, the New York City Housing Authority (its landlord) is alleging that the shop owes more than $62,000 in rent for their East 3rd Street location. St. Mark's attorney, James West — an East Villager representing the store's owners for free — told the neighborhood blog that his client has been unable to pay its rent (just a little over $6,000) for "probably 10 months."
West is seeking to have the case dismissed on a technicality, but if the case does go to trial and St. Mark's loses, this is when the store would be evicted. The case is adjourned until January 20th, but the bookshop was ordered to pay $6,180 to the Housing Authority in the meantime.
Late last year, St. Mark's asked customers to participate in an online fundraiser to raise $150,000 for its survival; currently, the store has received 281 donations totaling $18,706. Co-owner Bob Contant hoped the money would help ease the financial burden of operating the store. "We've been limping along ever since we moved in here," he told the blog.