Flintridge Bookstore Building Sells for $4.9M

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Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse is expected to move to a new location on Foothill Boulevard in 2020, and the building will become the site of mortgage banking company HouseAmerica.

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse, an iconic presence on Foothill Boulevard, will move to a new location in February after its current home was sold recently for $4.9 million, according to Peter Wannier, who owns the business with his wife, Lenora.
Wannier said he plans to move three or four blocks away from the store’s present location at 1010 Foothill Blvd.
“We still want to be on the main drag of La Cañada Flintridge,” Wannier said on Monday, but he declined to get into specifics. He added he would lease the new site, which he’ll announce once arrangements are finalized.
“I don’t want to say what we’re doing and have it be something else,” Wannier, who lives locally, said. “At the moment we certainly have ideas in mind but we don’t have a fixed point.”
The building housing the bookstore was sold to Alan Pezeshkian, president of Glendale-based mortgage banking company HouseAmerica on Nov. 15. He confirmed the sale price and said the bookstore will be repurposed as business offices.
“I love the building,” said Pezeshkian, adding he will take possession of it sometime in March and expects to be open for business on May 1. “It’s an iconic building situated in the heart of La Cañada Flintridge.
“This kind of fell into my lap. I wasn’t looking at buying this particular property. We had plans to extend the current lease I had in Glendale. I became aware of the availability of the building, I want to say, in early September.”
A notice was posted to the bookstore’s Facebook account of the business moving “in February” on Nov. 15.
Pezeshkian said his entire staff includes a little more than 50 people and 30-35 will move to the Foothill location. The rest of the staff will remain at other locations.
He called the LCF structure a “perfect fit” because of its size and location, the city’s reputation as a business-friendly community and the fact that he won’t have to improve the exterior of the building.
“I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait,” Pezeshkian said. “We just want to come in and conform to what’s there and take our business to the next level.”
The sale was not completely unexpected. In June, a private Facebook page user briefly linked to a real estate advertisement that showed the building was for sale for $5.3 million. Wannier had confirmed the structure was for sale but said the bookstore would not be shutting down.
LCF Chamber of Commerce CEO Pat Anderson described the store’s function as one that makes the city special and that the chamber fully supports.
“Not many communities have a local bookstore where you can actually go there, browse the sections, handle the books and smell the paper,” Anderson said. “Did you know that one of the incredible features of the bookstore is their machine that can actually reproduce a book that is out of print? Our bookstore is only one in about seven in the country to offer this amazing service.”
Wannier noted he was leasing the current location and expected Pezeshkian to begin occupying it in March and he expected the bookstore to be in its new location by then.
“Our intention is to continue maintaining access to quality books in La Cañada Flintridge and the surrounding community,” Wannier said. “We will probably not have the coffee service. But we’ll continue to be a bookstore. That’s our first love and our first business.”
Wannier said that after the move, the bookstore would have an emphasis on children’s books for reading pleasure and for school, while continuing to carry books for young adults and adults along with some gifts, like printed greeting cards.
Wannier described the upcoming move as a “step-by-step process” that would start sometime in February.
He said he and his wife had put a lot of blood and sweat into the building and were more than satisfied with the results.
“I think we’re proud to have made such a good structure for the city of La Cañada Flintridge,” said Wannier, who noted that years ago he and his wife bought the property, knocked down the previous building that stood there and developed the current edifice. “The building will certainly retain its attractive appearance.”
In the meantime, he’s concentrating on the bookstore’s sales for the holiday season and honoring all gift cards.
“We look forward to a busy pre-Christmas period and we always continue to have sales of merchandise,” Wannier said.

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