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Business Fort Worth woman hopes to keep Barnes & Noble at University Park...

Fort Worth woman hopes to keep Barnes & Noble at University Park Village

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

  A. Lee Graham Reporter   A Fort Worth woman has gone online in an effort to persuade Barnes & Noble Inc. from shuttering its University Park Village store.   The move comes a week after the bookseller announced plans to pull out of the location, as well as its downtown Sundance Square space.   “I think it would just be a huge loss,” said Debra Million, whose Berkeley Place home is just east of the University Park Village store.   For years, Million, her daughters and countless others have bought books, attended author signings and participated in high school holiday wrapping fundraisers at what’s become a neighborhood fixture.   “The one at University is still a vital store, and it’s kind of a community gathering center,” said Million, elated when the retailer reconsidered plans to vacate the space in 2010.     Before renewing its lease in late 2010, it reached an impasse with the former owner of University Park Village during lease negotiating, prompting Million to mobilize neighbors to ask the retailer to reconsider.   Million hopes her latest effort yields similar results, and a representative of Glimcher Realty Trust, which owners the shopping center, said its ears are open.   “We always appreciate the feedback from our shoppers and use that information to drive our leasing and marketing efforts,” said Jessi Fausett, marketing director for Columbus, Ohio-based Glimcher.   Fausett acknowledged receiving phone calls and emails from Fort Worth patrons and said the company wants to serve the community. “The community is definitely a focus to us,” Fausett said. “But we must look at the overall market and what we can do for the Fort Worth area.”   The University Drive store opened in 1995, becoming an anchor for the upscale shopping center also known for Apple, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Blue Mesa Grill and other tenants.   lgraham@bizpress.net


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