Landlord Forces Stores to Move
Two more stores in the Harvard Square area-Mandrake Book Store and Billings and Stover apothecary-are being forced to relocate.
In mid-December, the owners of both Boylston St. stores received a 50-day eviction notice from their landlord, Richard Dow of Cambridge Securities.
Mandrake Book Store was later granted an extension until April 30, but Billings and Stover moved out two weeks ago and the building is being readied for a branch of Charles Bank Trust.
"It isn't just my immediate problem which concerns me," Irwin Resen '25, owner of Mandrake Book Store said yesterday. "The quality of the store itself is changing as big businesses take over."
Mandrake Book Store will be relocated at 8 Story St., in Cambridge, while Billings and Stover has moved to 41A Brattle St., site of the former Brattle Pharmacy.
Dow will be renting the Mandrake site for $9000 per year, a 100 per cent increase. The new tenant is William A. Turtle, owner of an antique store in Putnam Square which is being forced to relocate.
Max Wasserman-Cambridge's largest real estate holder-acquired the Putnam Square site as part of the Bertha Cohen estate and upped Turtle's rent from $1300 to $17,000 per year.
Many store owners in the University area, including Resen, are tenants-at-will who are subject to eviction at short notice.
Resen said that when he asked Dow for advice on relocating, Dow replied, "There's no place to relocate in Harvard Square."
Resen said he then asked Dow, "What will I do?"
"Liquidate," was Dow's reply.