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Washington Business Journal: Barnes & Noble's Catholic U Bookstore to Anchor Monroe Street Market

September 04, 2013

Published in the Washington Business Journal

Barnes & Noble and Catholic University have signed on as an anchor tenant for Monroe Street Market, the mixed-use residential and retail development on land that formerly held Catholic U dorms across from the main campus of the university.

The university bookstore will lease 14,000 square feet of a new Barnes & Noble store on two levels in the Cornerstone building, facing Monroe Street between Michigan Avenue and 7 Street NE, according to The Bozzuto Group, one of the partners in Monroe Street Market.

The store will be a full-scale Barnes & Noble with a separate section for Catholic University students' textbooks and branded gear. There will also be a 44-seat Starbucks Cafe within the bookstore.

Construction is expected to begin on the bookstore later this year with a projected opening of spring 2014. Barnes & Noble will join the restaurant known as & pizza, the first retail tenant to sign on to Monroe Street Market, as well as a number of artist studios that are opening right now.

The campus bookstore will be relocated from its existing home in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center, the main student center on campus. Catholic University of America officials said in a statement the movement of the bookstore across Michigan Avenue will free up space on campus for other uses.

“The lease agreement that Catholic University of America signed with Bozzuto to open the Barnes & Noble @ Catholic University bookstore at Monroe Street Market represents an exciting continuation of a positive relationship that our university has enjoyed with this major bookstore company,” said John Garvey, president of Catholic University.

Barnes & Noble @ Catholic University is the second retailer to sign on to the project; & pizza, a growing, D.C.-based fast-casual pizza chain, signed on earlier this summer. Bookstore and coffeehouse Busboys & Poets was also looking at space at the market, but it's unclear if they'd still consider it with another bookstore right down the way.

I'm also hearing that a cafe, a more upscale casual restaurant and a bike shop are among the potential tenants for the retail space, although no other leases have been confirmed.