The Harvard Square branch of the Barnes and Noble bookstore closed down last Friday after 20 years of service.
Frank O'Rourke, general manager and vice-president of Barnes and Noble, said yesterday that the company's lease was running out on its building and that the building's owners were planning to triple the rent. "This was a marginal profit operation," O'Rourke said, "and there isn't that much margin in textbooks."
Joseph Fine, attorney for the owners of the building, claimed that the bookstore's lease was not near running out but that Barnes and Noble had asked to be released from it.
Barnes and Noble has branches in Chicago and New York but no other stores in the Boston area.